Green Bay says it is ready to match San Francisco's physical play on Saturday, something it hasn't done in previous games this season. The Packers built their 11-5 record largely on the back of a strong passing game led by Aaron Rodgers, but have struggled to control the line of scrimmage against defensive and run-oriented squads.
This was most obvious in the first half of Green Bay's controversial loss at Seattle, when a typically mediocre Seahawks pass rush sacked Rodgers eight times in the first 30 minutes. That led to an offensive effort that produced just 12 points from the normally explosive Packers.
That shouldn't be the case in Green Bay's divisional round match-up with San Francisco, a team that also pushed them around way back in Week 1. Many Packers are saying they are ready to handle the physical nature that is to be expected from a playoff game, including cornerback Tramon Williams, according to jsonline.com:
"It’s going to be a physical battle," cornerback Tramon Williams said. "You know that’s what it’s going to be. It’s going to be a physical game. We don’t know how it’s going to unfold — but it’s going to unfold physically. We know that."
Offensive guard T.J. Lang is also ready to battle, and thinks that his teammates are as well:
"They've got some big, strong guys up there in their front seven," Lang said. "But when we're playing our good football, we play just as physical as anybody else does. That's the attitude that we have and when you go against a group that plays physical, hard-knock football, the biggest thing is to make sure you're matching their effort, their intensity the whole game.
The Packers will have to do better in the trenches if they want to beat San Francisco on the road and advance to the NFC Championship game. They have been playing better down the stretch, but the 49ers offer a stiff challenge as one of the most physical teams in the NFL.