Playoff predictions: 49ers vs. Packers

Playoff predictions: 49ers vs. Packers
January 4, 2014, 2:45 pm
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Although the Redskins are spectators in this year’s NFL playoffs, we know you’ll still be watching. So let’s have some fun predicting the outcomes, shall we? Here’s how Redskins Insiders Tarik El-Bashir and Rich Tandler see the games unfolding:

49ers at Packers
Sunday, 4:40, FOX
49ers favored by 2.5

Tandler: Hey, this just in—it’s going to be cold in January in Green Bay. The tundra (which, by definition, is frozen) will not be hospitable for the 49ers but is that enough to get the Packers a win? No, but be aware that the Packers are a much better team now than their eight wins might indicate. They played most of November and December without Aaron Rodgers and Randall Cobb and with those two back there are a much better team. In last week’s winner-gets-in game against the Bears, Rodgers produced in the clutch with three key fourth-down completions including the winning TD. He will be the difference. Packers 28, 49ers 24

El-Bashir: The extreme cold will definitely be a factor, and a Packers’ team that has Aaron Rodgers under center will always have a chance. But the 49ers enter the postseason riding a six-game winning streak and a clear talent advantage on both sides of the ball. Okay, let’s say Rodgers and the Green Bay offense manage to have a good day against NaVorro Bowman and a stout 49ers’ defense that's yielding 17 points per game (3rd best). Even if that happens, the Packers’ 25th-ranked defense ALSO must slow a versatile San Fran attack that’s scoring 25 points per game and features Colin Kaepernick, Anquan Boldin, Vernon Davis and Frank Gore. Can’t see an 8-7-1 Packers’ team having a good day on offense AND defense against a superior 49ers’ outfit. Gimme the Niners, please.  49ers 24, Packers 17