After a 24-10 win over the Minnesota Vikings, the Green Bay Packers will be heading to Candlestick Park to face the San Francisco 49ers for the NFC Divisional playoffs on January 12 at 5:00 p.m. PT. Tickets will be available on Monday at 10:00 a.m.on Ticketmaster.
This will be the first time that both teams meet in the postseason since the 2001 Wild Card round, where the Packers beat the 49ers 25-15 in Lambeau Field. The last time both teams faced each other in a playoff game at Candlestick Park was in the 1998 Wild Card round where Terrell Owens caught the game winning touchdown in a 30-27 win for the 49ers.
Earlier this season, the 49ers defeated the Packers in Week 1 by a score of 30-22. Alex Smith outplayed Aaron Rodgers in that game and by going 20-26 with 303 passing yards and two touchdown passes. Colin Kaepernick's only involvement against the Packers was a 17-yard run right before halftime which set up the record-tying 63-yard field goal by David Akers.
With the recent struggles by Akers, the 49ers could have a change at placekicker compared to Week one's game. Billy Cundiff was signed to the team last week and has been competing with Akers for the right to play on Saturday. The 49ers aren't the only team struggling at kicking. Packers' K Mason Crosby going 21-33 for a career low of 63.6 percent of his field goals made.
The Packers have only allowed 100 or more rushing yards three times this season. Frank Gore in Week 1 and Adrian Peterson in Weeks 13 and 17 are the only two running backs to reach that milestone against the Packers.
One of the biggest question marks coming into this game will be the health of Justin Smith. He took full participation in practice this week with no black non-contact jersey, but had a brace on his elbow for both Thursday and Friday's practice.
The 49ers' scout team was looking at players on the Packers during last week's practices. WR Chad Hall was wearing a No. 18 jersey while wideout Ricardo Lockette was wearing a No. 87 jersey. Tight end Garrett Celek was dressed in a No. 88 jersey. What does this infer? The 49ers were getting a head start on preparing for Randall Cobb, Jordy Nelson and Jermichael Finley.
While the 49ers had both Saturday and today off, LaMichael James said the team would be scouting whoever they saw. Regardless of who their opponent, he said the team needs to focus on getting better.
"We're going to be motivated," said James. "It's a playoff game. We're going to be ready to play, they're going to be ready to play. It's going to be a good game whoever we have to play. It's put up or shut up time."
The Packers are 0-2 in the regular season when facing a quarterback with seven or fewer starts. Kaepernick has only seven starts in his career since taking over in Week 12.