The San Francisco 49ers come into this game as the top seed in the NFC, fresh off a 27 - 10 demolition of the Minnesota Vikings last week. The 49ers are a team without obvious weaknesses. They had one of the best offenses and one of the best defenses in the NFL this year. If we squint really hard perhaps we can view quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo’s penchant for the turnover as a weakness. Garoppolo had 13 interceptions this season. After starting eight games in 2017 and 2018 combined, Garoppolo started all 16 games for the 49ers this season, missing just seven total offensive snaps. Garoppolo had seven touchdowns and six interceptions in his first six games, but has 21 touchdowns and eight interceptions in his last 11 games.
The Packers won the NFC North for the sixth time this decade with a 13-3 record, the most division titles by any NFC team over that span. They come into this game off a tight 28 - 23 win over the Seattle Seahawks last week. The Packers had middling statistics across the board all year, with one crucial exception: turnovers. The Packers success this year was largely the result of turnover differential. The Packers lost the turnover battle only four times all year, and finished the season with a positive 12 turnover differential.
Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers is not quite the all time great he once was, but he’s still more than good enough. Rodgers threw for 4002 yards and only four interceptions this season, his second consecutive season with 4000 or more passing yards and fewer than five interceptions. No other player in NFL history has had one such season. If the Packers are to advance to the Super Bowl this year, they’ll likely have to rely on the slightly diminished but still dangerous arm of Aaron Rodgers.
Its the 49ers and the Packers to wrap up the conference championships and finalize the Super Bowl contestants. Enjoy the game everybody.