49ers: 3 keys to victory in NFC Championship Game against the Packers

49ers (Cunningham/Getty Images)
49ers (Cunningham/Getty Images) /
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49ers (Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images) /

3. Get off to a hot start

The 49ers were able to stun the Packers back in Week 12 to the tune of a 37-8 demolition. Green Bay hasn’t lost since then, but the 49ers will surely be trying to repeat their winning formula.

San Francisco was able to jump out to a quick start in their last meeting with the Packers as they led 10-0 after the first quarter and held a whopping 23-point lead going into the half.

The 49ers were able to force a Rodgers fumble on their first defensive possession and they followed that up with an opening-drive touchdown. From that point on, the momentum was solely on the 49ers’ side.

Much like in Week 12, the Packers will be tasked with going into Levi’s Stadium to take on this 49ers team. Playing in a road environment is never an easy task, but that task is made significantly harder if you fall behind early.

Once the home team gains momentum and the crowd noise intensifies, it’s hard to turn the tide. It’s the old snowball effect — once the ball gets rolling, things could get out of hand in a hurry.

The 49ers will look to do the same thing they did back in Week 12 — jump on the Packers early and don’t allow room for a late-game, Rodgers-led comeback attempt.

Score on your opening drive and force a three-and-out on your first defensive possession. Set the tone early and control the time of possession.

If the 49ers can do that, they should have no trouble finding success on Sunday.