GREEN BAY (WBAY)- The Packers are the only NFC team to have played in more than one conference championship game since 2014. Sunday’s game against the 49ers in Santa Clara, CA will be their third title game appearance, and they hope the third time is the charm and they will advance to their first Super Bowl since 2010.
But oddsmakers have installed San Francisco as 7.5 point favorites for Sunday, in large part to the week 12 beatdown (37-8) they handed the Packers in the same stadium. Most everyone knows the 49ers are the favorites to represent the NFC in Super Bowl LIV; and if the Niners themselves don’t know it, the Packers were making a concerted effort on Wednesday to inform them.
Here’s what Aaron Rodgers had to say: “I think if you look at this game, they are definitely favored by what, 7.5 points? So they are obviously expected to hold court and win; people know and are talking about how we played the last time. So I think if you look at pressure, the pressure is in a certain place and we should be nice and loose.”
And Davante Adams: “This is a great opportunity, we understand what is in front of us. Nothing to lose, but a lot to lose, everything at the same time. But the pressure is really on them, they want out there and they dominated us in that last game, and we did not take care of business the way we should have. So we kind of bottled that up, that feeling, and we are ready to convert that into something great.”
Rodgers has been great enough in his career to win numerous individual awards. Several of his teammates probably deserved more awards this season; specifically sack leader Za’Darius Smith, who despite his team leading 13.5 sacks and NFL leading number of QB pressures, was left of the Pro Bowl and All-Pro teams. He wore a t-shirt with the word “snubbed” under his jersey in the Divisional Playoff win over the Seahawks, flashing it after a sack of Russell Wilson.
Rodgers was asked on Wednesday if his team, like some of its’ players, has been overlooked this season. “I do know that there has been some incredible performances by our guys, and maybe they haven't got the recognition they deserve. I hope we all remember why we're doing this though, it's to win championships. And when you win championships, everybody wins. As someone who has won some of those individual awards, I'd definitely trade those for a couple more rings.”
Packers right tackle Bryan Bulaga did practice on Wednesday, after the illness going around the team kept him from playing against Seattle. Fullback Danny Vitale also returned to the practice field, although Wednesday’s workout was little more than a walkthrough. Receiver Geronimo Allison is the latest player to succumb to an illness. For the 49ers, pass rusher Dee Ford and tight end George Kittle did not practice Wednesday.
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