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49ers to Face Packers in Postseason Rematch

Posted Dec 30, 2013

Anquan Boldin led the 49ers to a win in the regular season finale and now feels like the momentum will carry into the postseason.

GLENDALE, Ariz., – From seventy degrees to seven degrees, the San Francisco 49ers will experience quite a bit of temperature change in between Week 17 and an upcoming Wild Card playoff matchup in Green Bay.

“We know where we’re headed,” Jim Harbaugh said after beating the Arizona Cardinals and improving to 17-7 on the road and 11-3 in the month of December. “This is only for the tough… Guys have been through some tough ball games and we know we have more coming.”

The Harbaugh-coached 49ers are 3-0 against the Packers, including a win in last year’s NFL Divisional Playoff round and in Week 1 of the 2013 regular season.

San Francisco was assured of a postseason berth heading into Sunday’s regular season finale in Arizona, but a 23-20 victory coupled with Green Bay’s comeback win over Chicago ensured the 49ers-Packers rivalry would be renewed in the playoffs. The 49ers (12-4) enter the postseason as the No. 5 seed and will travel to face the No. 4 seed Packers (8-7-1) on Sunday for a 1:40 p.m. PT kick-off.

To get the No. 5 seed, the 49ers needed a late-game field goal in Arizona. San Francisco had the ball with :29 left on the clock and drove the ball 42 yards on three plays to set up a 40-yard Phil Dawson field goal.

 49ers vs. Cardinals

The play that everyone will remember was Quinton Patton’s 29-yard sideline reception down to Arizona’s 22-yard line.

After Patton came down with the ball inbounds, Harbaugh raced down the field to get an officials attention so he could call a timeout. The hustle did not go unnoticed; NaVorro Bowman ran over and patted his coach on the back for the all-out sprint.

The late-game heroics against a 10-win, playoff-caliber team, provided the perfect situational practice for an upcoming postseason run.

“We’d like to carry our momentum,” said wide receiver Anquan Boldin, who caught nine passes for 149 yards in his return to Arizona. “It felt like a playoff atmosphere today… We won a tough game today, hopefully it carries over.”

Boldin knows all about the tangible results of late-season momentum.

With the Baltimore Ravens in 2012, Boldin saw how the end of the regular season carried into the playoffs. As a result, Boldin won his first Super Bowl against the 49ers.

Now, the 11-year pro sees his current team following the precedent set by his former club.

San Francisco enters the postseason with the NFL’s longest winning streak at six games.

“We’re a team that’s built for anything,” said Boldin, who noted that the 49ers are healthier and have built stronger communication throughout the season. “We’ve withstood the storm.”

San Francisco will have to deal with cold weather in Green Bay. It’s not something the team is used to, but in following Harbaugh’s “by any means necessary” mantra, there’s no choice but to compete wherever the next game takes place.

“The Super Bowl is on the line, coldness goes out the window,” Bowman said.

The star linebacker stressed that the 49ers want to be known as a team who fought back in any circumstance.

“That’s how you want to be remembered,” Bowman said.

The 49ers look forward to another matchup with the Packers, who now have Aaron Rodgers back in the fold after a mid-season collarbone injury.

Weather is one thing, but from the sounds of it, nobody is dwelling on that aspect of the game.

“The guys in our locker room take great pride in competing,” Harbaugh said. “The only thing they have the most control on is how they play… I feel great about our guys.”


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