NFC: Packers (12-5) at 49ers (11-4-1)
After dispatching the Vikings at Lambeau Field last week, the Packers go up in class against the hard-nosed Niners — on the road, no less. You can throw out the 49ers' Week 1 victory over the Packers. That came against a team that started 2-3, not the one that has won 10 of its past 12 games and benefitted from the return of key players from injury.
Time: 8 tonight TV/radio: Ch. 13; 98.7-FM
Coaches: Packers — Mike McCarthy (74-38, 6-3 playoffs); 49ers — Jim Harbaugh (24-7-1, 1-1 playoffs)
Breaking it down
Packers game-breaker: Greg Jennings missed seven games with a groin injury and might be in his last season with Green Bay. But he has 12 catches for 181 yards over the past two weeks.
49ers game-breaker: Quarterback Colin Kaepernick, not because he's an efficient passer (though he is) but because he's a threat to run. He gained an average 6.6 yards per carry this season.
Why the Packers will win: Quarterback Aaron Rodgers' decision-making and many receiving options stress the stout 49ers defense.
Why the 49ers will win: End Justin Smith, arguably their best defender, returns after missing two games with a partially torn left triceps and helps linebacker Aldon Smith and Co. attack Rodgers.
Look out for: Packers safety Charles Woodson returned last week after missing nine games with a broken collarbone and helped contain running back Adrian Peterson. Next is Frank Gore.
49ers 27, Packers 23
Stephen F. Holder, Times staff writer
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