Today, the San Francisco 49ers will travel to freezing Lambeau Field in Green Bay, Wisconsin to face the Packers in the NFC Wildcard Game. The winner will move on to the Divisional round where they will face the Carolina Panthers in Charlotte, North Carolina. The 49ers and Packers last met during the regular season opener on September 8 in San Francisco where the 49ers won 34-28.
Offensively, the 49ers are ranked 24th in the league while the Packers are ranked 3rd. Defensively, the 49ers are ranked 5th in the league while the Packers are ranked 25th.
By far, the biggest story of the game is the weather. This could be one of the colder games in NFL history. According to Weather.com, the high for the day is expected to be 3° and the low -19° with the temperature around kickoff expected to be somewhere between 0° and 2° and dropping as the game progresses.
Cloudy skies with a few snow showers later in the day. Very cold. Wind chills approaching -25F. High 3F. Winds NNW at 15 to 25 mph. Chance of snow 30%. - Weather.com
The 49ers pass defense could be vulnerable with cornerbacks Carlos Rogers and Eric Wright listed as questionable with hamstring injuries. That is not good news with the defense looking to stop quarterback Aaron Rodgers, who returned to the Packers lineup last week. It was his first start since November 4.
The Packers defense will not be at 100% either with linebacker Clay Matthews out due to a thumb injury. The Packers defense has allowed 21 or more points in every game since week 7. The 49ers are 11-0 when scoring 21 or more points this season and have scored at least that much in five of their last six games. The Packers have been weak against the run. Over the past nine weeks, they have ranked 31st in the league allowing 157.2 rushing yards per game. The 49ers rank 3rd in the league in rushing, averaging 137.6 yards per game this season. That could be a huge advantage for the 49ers if the team is unable to pass in the harsh conditions.
49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick has won both his meetings with the Packers. However, both of those games were in San Francisco. This will be his first start in Green Bay. Last season during the Divisional round in the playoffs, Kaepernick passed for 263 yards and two touchdowns. The killer for Green Bay was that he also rushed for 181 yards. During week 1 this season, Kaepernick passed for 412 yards and three touchdowns. Receiver Anquan Boldin, who was voted the team's MVP for the season, accounted for 208 of those yards with his 13 catches during that game.
During the 49ers' current six game winning streak, Kaepernick has completed 61.8 percent of his passes for 1,395 yards, 10 touchdowns, and only one interception.
Packers running back Eddie Lacy has been bothered by a sprained right ankle. Despite that, he has still rushed for 356 yards and five touchdowns in the Packers' last four games. He was limited to 41 yards during the 49ers and Packers week 1 matchup.
Last week, the 49ers (12-4) defeated the Arizona Cardinals 23-20. The Packers (8-7-1) defeated the Chicago Bears 33-28.
The game kicks off at 1:40 PM PT and, as usual, you can visit 49erswebzone.com for the latest news and updates during and after the game.
The game will be televised on FOX. The 49ers are favored by 2.5.
Within Yahoo! Sports, a popular mobile scores application, 56% of fans believe that the 49ers will win this game.
Within our Pick 'em contest, 91% of fans believe that the 49ers will win this game.
You can follow the game live on NFL.com's Game Center.
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49ers Injury Report
Questionable: CB Carlos Rogers (hamstring), LB Dan Skuta (foot), CB Eric Wright (hamstring)
Probable: WR Jon Baldwin (illness), LB Navorro Bowman (wrist), CB Tarell Brown (ribs), WR Michael Crabtree (quadricep), C Jonathan Goodwin (non injury related), RB Frank Gore (knee), G Mike Iupati (knee), DT Justin Smith (shoulder)
Packers Injury Report
Out: LB Clay Matthews (thumb)
Probable: LB Brad Jones (ankle), RB Eddie Lacy (ankle), DE/LB Mike Neal (abdomen), LB Nick Perry (foot), DT Ryan Pickett (knee)