The Green Bay Packers travel to the San Francisco 49ers for the NFC Championship Game on Sunday (6:40 p.m. ET, Fox).
Matchup rating: 74.4 | Spread: SF -7.5 (46.5)
What to watch for: While Niners coach Kyle Shanahan has expressed his team's need to forget the 49ers' 37-8 drubbing of the Packers in November, Packers coach Matt LaFleur has talked about needing to revisit and learn from it. The Niners are healthier than they were in that first meeting, but a regular-season drubbing guarantees nothing in the playoffs. According to the Elias Sports Bureau, this marks the 37th time in the Super Bowl era that two teams will meet in the playoffs after one beat the other by at least 25 points during the regular season. The team that won the first meeting is 22-14 in the ensuing matchup, but the team that best maintains focus on the task at hand will move on to the Super Bowl. -- Nick Wagoner
Bold prediction: Packers receiver Davante Adams will come close to the team playoff record of 160 yards receiving he set last week against the Seahawks. Quarterback Aaron Rodgers was 0-of-8 on throws 10-plus yards downfield against the San Francisco defense in the Week 12 loss -- his most such passes in a game without a single completion, according to ESPN Stats & Information. Look for that to change on Sunday as he and coach Matt LaFleur devise different ways to attack the 49ers. -- Rob Demovsky
Stat to know: Both teams added a pair of pass-rushers this offseason. The Packers' Za'Darius Smith and Preston Smith were the only pair of teammates with 12.0 sacks each in the regular season, and they each had 2.0 in the divisional-round game. The 49ers, meanwhile, have recorded a sack on 17.3% of dropbacks with both Nick Bosa and Dee Ford on the field and just 5.7% with either or both off. The NFL average sack rate is 6.5%.
Key matchup: 49ers pass-rush vs. the Packers' offensive line. The 49ers are loaded on the defensive line with Bosa, Ford, Arik Armstead and DeForest Buckner. That's the best nickel front in the NFL. Look for San Francisco defensive coordinator Robert Saleh to scheme pass-rush matchups with his personnel out of multiple fronts and alignments. That allows the 49ers to bump Bosa and Ford inside, or use twist stunts to open up rush lanes. The pressure here is on the Packers' offensive line to protect Rodgers. Read more.
Betting nugget: Green Bay is the fourth team to win at least 13 games during the regular season and then be an underdog of at least seven points in its conference title game. Each of the previous three won the game outright. This is the fourth time Rodgers has been an underdog of at least seven points, and he is 0-3 outright -- but 3-0 ATS -- in the previous three games. Read more.
Officiating nugget: Referee John Hussey's regular-season crew threw an average of 14.9 flags per game, fourth-fewest in the NFL. His crew called the second-fewest penalties for offensive holding (38), one of the handful of fouls for which referees are responsible.
Demovsky's pick: Packers 28, 49ers 27
Wagoner's pick: 49ers 30, Packers 20
FPI prediction: SF, 71.9% (by an average of 7.6 points)
Matchup must-reads: How Jerry Rice yelling at Deion Sanders helped shape the 2019 49ers ... Nick Bosa's dominant rookie season not a surprise to the 49ers ... How the Packers overhauled everything to get back to the NFC Championship Game ... Packers will take fine-tooth comb to loss vs. 49ers, Matt LaFleur says ... Which LaFleur -- Mike or Matt -- will join their parents at the Super Bowl? ... Davante Adams: Packers have 'a better way to attack' 49ers this time
NFC Championship: Everything you need to know about Packers vs. 49ers
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