NFL playoffs: four games to watch in the NFC Divisional Round between the Packers and 49ers

NFL playoffs: four games to watch in the NFC Divisional Round between the Packers and 49ers

In the Divisional Round of the NFC playoffs, the Green Bay Packers as well as San Francisco 49ers will face off for the second time in three years; however, this matchup has taken on an entirely different appearance than the previous encounter.

This season, the 49ers dominated the conference, earning the No. 1 seed as well as home field advantage on the strength of a high-flying offense and Brock Purdy.

Similar to the Niners from the previous two seasons, the Packers entered the playoffs by sneaking in during Week 18 and defeated the Dallas Cowboys on the road last week in order to advance to this juncture.

However, under the direction of Jordan Love, the Green Bay offense has improved significantly in the final stretch and will present a formidable opponent in Saturday night’s contest in Santa Clara.

Two years ago, neither Purdy nor Love served as starting quarterbacks for their respective teams (Purdy was finishing his collegiate career at Iowa State, whereas Love was Aaron Rodgers’ backup).

However, throughout the remainder of this season, each has performed at an exceptional level.

Indeed, Love has outperformed Purdy in completion percentage (70.7% to 70.1%) as well as TD-to-INT ratio (21-1 to 16-6) since Week 11, including the postseason. However, Purdy has held an advantage in yards per game (278.7 to 269.1).

An extraordinary ascent by Love and the Packers since their shaky 2-5 start has altered the course of his career.

Even through his rough patches, Purdy has also dispelled skeptics since assuming the starting role in the final days of the 2022 period and returning from summer elbow surgery.

Since 1995, the 49ers and Packers have met a total of nine times during the postseason, with San Francisco emerging victorious five times – including the previous four meetings. Kyle Shanahan is 2-0 toward Matt LaFleur’s Packers in the postseason.

This is going to be the first-ever NFL playoff matchup between the seventh and first seeds, nevertheless the Packers will enter Levi’s Stadium with an aura of assurance that greatly exceeds their seeding.

After the completion of all six wild-card games, the round of divisional matchups have been determined. The Texans are going to Baltimore to face the Ravens in the AFC, whereas the Chiefs will travel to Buffalo to confront the Bills.

The Packers will travel to San Francisco to face the 49ers, while the Lions will host the Buccaneers following Monday’s victory by Tampa Bay over Philadelphia.

Anticipate the divisional round of the schedule, which will feature the bye teams, the Niners as well as the Ravens, in their respective first-round contests.

Additionally, opening odds from ESPN BET and projections from ESPN’s Sports Power Index (FPI) were furnished.

To help you prepare for the upcoming week’s slate, Seth Walder analyzed how each team can advance toward the conference championships and Stephen Holder identified the most significant aspect of each matchup.

Sam Farmer, an NFL writer for The New York Times, analyzes the upcoming matchups of this week. The FanDuel Sportsbook provides the lines (O/U = over/under).

The previous week’s record was 3-3 (.500). By integrating the scores predicted by Farmer into point spreads, the previous week’s record toward the spread would be considered 4-2 (.667). Channels are local to the Los Angeles area. Pacific time standard.

Rematches of three out of the next four games are rematches of outstanding regular-season contests. It is fitting that the only fresh matchup is between the Bengals and Titans, two teams that unexpectedly advanced this far to the playoffs.

Existing storylines that are being incorporated into every title are numerous and thrilling. Four of my preferred narratives from the divisional round have been selected to guide my viewing habits over the upcoming weekend.