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49ers Keys to Playoff Victory vs. the Packers

Jan 19, 2024 at 9:00 AM


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The Divisional Round of the 2023 Playoffs is here. The San Francisco 49ers host the Green Bay Packers. It's win or go home for the 49ers, so if the team wants to continue on their "Quest for Six," they must stick to the "Keys to Victory."

Take Away The Run


The number one key to victory is eliminating the run game from the Packers. Green Bay will look to set up their run game with Aaron Jones and A.J. Dillon if he plays. The 49ers need to eliminate them, so it limits the strength of Jordan Love and the Packers' offense.

The Packers, like the 49ers, thrive off of the play-action pass. If the 49ers eliminate the run, it will make the Packers one-dimensional and apply added pressure to Love, forcing him to beat the 49ers by throwing only.

Taking away the run won't be as simple as it sounds, but with Arik Armstead back on the defensive line, the 49ers' third-ranked run defense should successfully keep Green Bay's rushing attack at bay.

Pressure up the Middle


Rush four and play the pass. This concept must be the mindset of Steve Wilks's defense throughout the night. With Armstead back in the middle, he will receive numerous one-on-one matchups. His ability to fill the gaps allows linebackers Fred Warner, Dre Greenlaw, and Oren Burks to fill those gaps and secure tackles.

Expect the 49ers to generate pressure from the edge with Nick Bosa, Chase Young, Robert Beal Jr., and Randy Gregory. These edge rushers must secure the edge, keeping Love in the pocket. The interior can feast up the middle if the pass rushers set the edge.

How ironic is it that the team's sack leaders are Bosa, Javon Hargrave, and Armstead? If the 49ers can generate pressure up the middle, it will force Love to move outside the pocket, running right into the edge rushers. The key here is pressure inside or outside.

Limit Explosive Plays


The 49ers must limit explosive plays. The team can do this in two ways. First, don't get caught out of position. The Packers converted several explosive plays against the Cowboys by getting players wide-open in the holes of their zone defense. The 49ers must be disciplined and trust one another to eliminate busted coverages. Expect the Packers to test the young defensive secondary of the 49ers.

The second way to limit explosive plays is to wrap and tackle. Missed tackles will generate explosive plays for the Packers, so the 49ers must tackle on every occasion.

Find the Rhythm Early


Kyle Shanahan must get his offense in a rhythm early. The 49ers are one of the top teams in the NFL in scoring on their first drive. Expect a long-play drive for a touchdown mixed with a balanced running and passing attack.

Once the 49ers establish a rhythm, they must keep the Packers' defense unbalanced by using different personnel groups, utilizing a mixture of runs and passes. Feed the tone-setters—Christian McCaffrey, Deebo Samuel, and George Kittle—via on the ground and in the air.

Execute in the Red Zone


The 49ers must do one thing when they reach the red zone: score touchdowns! Scoring points in the red zone, whether three or seven, is a must. The 49ers must execute inside the 20-yard line and, most importantly, avoid penalties in the red zone. Penalties in the red zone could potentially knock the 49ers out of scoring, so execution and discipline are two crucial factors in the red zone area.

If the 49ers execute and generate points, particularly touchdowns, it shifts the pressure to the Green Bay Packers, forcing them to keep up. Execute in the red zone, and the 49ers will advance to the NFL Playoffs.



In conclusion, this won't be an easy task in the beginning. I wouldn't be surprised if the score is close in the first half of the game. I also expect the score to not be close at the end of the game.

If the 49ers want to advance to the NFC Championship Game, they must stick to the "Keys to Victory."
  • Written by:
    Wayne Breezie is a 49ers content creator. He had his first guest appearance on Ronbosports in 2012. He began writing for a Facebook group called the League of the 49ers. Next, he began writing for Nothing But Niners in 2017. In 2018, Wayne Breezie made his debut on YouTube’s Nothing But Niners show. In 2019, he started his podcast called Nitty Gritty Niners. After putting the pen down for several years, Breezie saw an opportunity to write for 49erscap.com. His first published article was in January of 2022 with 49ersCap, and he currently writes and produces weekly podcasts.

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