Out of all three possible opponents in the divisional playoff round, the Packers are the best matchup the 49ers could use. While little was learned about the Packers in their lackluster 24-10 win over the Vikings, there are several flaws in the team that work out in the 49ers' favor. Here are four reasons why facing the Packers is the best case scenario:
1. The Packers' offense is one-dimensional.
Aaron Rodgers is one of the best quarterbacks in the game today, but the offense is not all dominant. The running game is subpar with RBs DuJuan Harris and recently re-signed Ryan Grant. Both the Seahawks and Redskins are versatile by having a decent running game with Marshawn Lynch and Alfred Morris respectively. The 49ers will be tested in the secondary, but if they can shut down the passing game, their job will become easy.
2. Aaron Rodgers is not the most mobile quarterback.
The 49ers have had problems when they face a dual-threat quarterback who can run and scramble when needed. Both Christian Ponder and Russell Wilson were able to defeat the 49ers this season with both their arms and legs. Rodgers is more of a pocket passer compared to Wilson and Robert Griffin III. The Packers' offensive line is ranked second-to-last in sacks allowed which opens the door for linebackers and the defensive line to make plays. If the front-seven can bring pressure, it will not be an easy day for Rodgers.
3. The Packers have not faced the offense under Colin Kaepernick.
The 49ers are well-prepared for the Packers from playing them already in Week 1. The Packers on the other hand will have to start over in preparing for Kaepernick in comparison to when they face Alex Smith to begin this season. The only time Kaepernick was on the field in Week 1, he ran the ball for 17 yards before halftime to set up a 63-yard field goal by David Akers. The Packers are also unfamiliar with the potential option plays the 49ers have used. For this season, the Packers have only seen two zone-read option plays. This isn't saying the 49ers should depend on zone-read plays, but it gives them an opportunity to use them against a Packers team who is inexperienced.
4. The Packers are vulnerable at run defense.
There are only two RBs who have ran 100 or more yards on the Packers this year. Adrian Peterson has done it twice and Frank Gore did it in Week 1. The 49ers won't have to depend on passing the ball majority of the time as they can go back to establishing a traditional running game. The only defensive linemen who is a threat on the Packers is NT B.J. Raji. The interior of the 49ers' offensive line should have an advantage at winning the battles in the trenches with Mike Iupati and Jonathan Goodwin in control. It will be important for the 49ers to go back to "old school" football by pounding the ball on the ground to Frank Gore and LaMichael James.