How the Packers can upset the 49ers in the divisional playoffs

Green Bay Packers
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The San Francisco 49ers are the toughest team to beat in the NFC and were the one team Aaron Rodgers could never defeat in the playoffs.

Jordan Love and the Green Bay Packers can beat the No. 1 seed and move on to the Conference Championship, playing with house money.

But how can they pull off the upset?

1. Packers must pressure Brock Purdy

The Baltimore Ravens beat the 49ers in Week 16 because of their ability to get after Brock Purdy and force him to make difficult throws. The Packers have not gotten after the quarterback consistently this season, but they have the ability to do so this Sunday.

The Packers generated pressure against the Dallas Cowboys, who have an offensive line way more efficient than the 49ers. Per ESPN, Dallas ranked 16th in pass block win rate and fourth in run block win rate. San Francisco is 20th and 23rd, respectively.

Rashan Gary will likely see a lot of All-Pro tackle Trent Williams, depending on defensive schemes. Defensive coordinator Joe Barry needs to exploit their up-and-down offensive line and show the 49ers why the Packers are a legitimate contender for the Super Bowl.

2. Packers defense must play tight coverage

Packers fans know Joe Barry loves to call zone coverage. However, cornerbacks Carrington Valentine and Corey Ballentine have shown they can play man coverage, while Jaire Alexander plays his best when shadowing a great receiver like Brandon Aiyuk.

Alexander is questionable with an ankle injury. He played against the Dallas Cowboys but reinjured his ankle during the game.

3. Packers must stop the pass rush

Green Bay's offensive line has stepped up this season. While Jordan Love had a lot of pressure on him against the Cowboys' defense last week, he stayed composed and had some great throws under pressure.

The 49ers have arguably a better defensive line and a better defense overall. If the Packers can give Love enough time, they will take a significant step toward winning this game.

Nick Bosa and Chase Young form a dominant pass-rush duo. This is the most well-constructed defense the Packers have faced. If they can stop the pass rush, they can get the ball to their young receivers in the face of the 49ers' underperforming cornerbacks. Green Bay allowed zero sacks against a top-five Dallas defense last week.

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