Packers: Five players to watch in the NFC Championship Game

Green Bay Packers, Preston Smith (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)
Green Bay Packers, Preston Smith (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images) /
5 of 6
Green Bay Packers, Kenny Clark
Green Bay Packers, Kenny Clark and Preston Smith (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images) /

4. Kenny Clark

Much like the Packers’ own offense, the 49ers like to get going with the run and use play-action in the passing game. You can even say the 49ers like to use it more than the Packers.

Against the Vikings last Sunday, Tevin Coleman had a big day rushing for 105 yards with two touchdowns. Raheem Mostert chipped in another 58 with the 49ers running for over 180 yards on the day.

I expect the 49ers to try to do the same thing against the Packers. The 49ers have a good offensive line led by veteran Joe Staley. But the Packers have guys who can take this line head-on and have some success. The main culprit being Kenny Clark.

Since that game in late November, Clark has really turned it up and has been performing the best he has all year. If Clark can continue the dominance he displayed in December, the Packers should have a chance at shutting down the 49ers run game.

Make no mistake, the entire line will have to hold their own. Dean Lowry, Tyler Lancaster and Montravius Adams will all need to be contributors. But with Clark the main man in the middle, he will have to do the dirty work and take on the double teams and allow Blake Martinez to clean up.