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Packers Morning Buzz: Green Bay defense must do dirty work against 49ers' Jimmy Garoppolo

Stu Courtney
Packers News

Welcome to a special NFC championship edition of your Morning Buzz, rounding up news and views regarding the Green Bay Packers from around the web and here at PackersNews.com.

We'll start with Tom Silverstein listing his five key things to watch Sunday in the NFC championship game. One vital necessity for the Packers will be bringing the heat on Jimmy Garoppolo and making the young 49ers quarterback as uncomfortable as possible.

Green Bay Packers outside linebacker Za'Darius Smith (55) sacks San Francisco 49ers quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo (10) during the first half of an NFL football game in Santa Clara, Calif., Sunday, Nov. 24, 2019. (AP Photo/Tony Avelar)

Silverstein writes:

DIRTYING GAROPPOLO'S UNIFORM: Over the last six games, only one team has made 49ers quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo pick himself up off the ground more than a couple of times. The Los Angeles Rams sacked him six times and knocked him down twice in a three-point 49ers win in L.A. Nobody else has really made his life tough. Minnesota, which has one of the best pass rushes in the league, sacked him twice and knocked him down once. Seattle: two sacks. Atlanta: one sack, two knockdowns. New Orleans: three sacks, three knockdowns. Baltimore: two sacks, one knockdown. Somehow, the Packers must get to Garoppolo. 

“We just have to go in here and not let him get comfortable back there, get in rhythm and get the ball to his guys,” outside linebacker Preston Smith said. “He has a lot of playmakers, a lot of talented guys on that offense, and we’ve got to make sure to apply pressure.”

You can read the rest of Silverstein's keys to the game, plus our staff predictions, here;

Packers receiver Davante Adams has a burning desire to run the perfect pass route, writes Ryan Wood:

Don't look for 49ers star cornerback Richard Sherman to shadow Adams:

Former Packers coach Mike Holmgren looks at Sunday's quarterback matchup:

There is a perfect storm aspect to this Packers season, writes Tom Silverstein:

The 49ers run the ball more than just about anybody, which will test the Packers' defense, writes Pete Dougherty:

The Packers listed punter JK Scott as questionable with an illness, but went ahead and filled their last roster spot by activating safety Raven Greene:

Packers coach Matt LaFleur talks about his relationship with Kyle Shanahan and other coaches from the Mike Shanahan tree:

ESPN's Rob Demovsky looks at the friendship between LaFleur and 49ers defensive coordinator Robert Saleh:

This game will be a family affair in more ways than one:

Rob Reischel writes for ForbesSports about Adams and Aaron Jones finding themselves in a familiar underdog role:

The MMQB's Conor Orr answers four questions about Packers vs. Niners:

Will Rodgers add to this list in Sunday's game?

Here's an interesting Mike Pettine anecdote:

The view from San Francisco: Five keys for a 49ers victory:

An unusual way to make predictions, courtesy of Nate Burleson:

Here's a prediction that Packers fans will like:

Jimmy Graham an X-factor? So says Bucky Brooks of NFL.com as he sizes up the four remaining playoff teams.

Brooks writes:

Green Bay Packers: TE Jimmy Graham. The former All-Pro tight end is no longer one of the premier playmakers in the game, but he can still hurt opponents as a big-bodied pass catcher over the middle of the field. Graham has standout post-up skills and his wide catch radius makes him an easy target for Aaron Rodgers in key situations. With Davante Adams and Aaron Jones viewed as the only trustworthy offensive weapons for No. 12 of late, Graham needs to turn back to the clock and re-emerge as a difference-maker in the passing game.

You can read Brooks' entire piece here:

We could have a Super Bowl I rematch in the NFL's 100th season:

Good story on LaFleur's successor as Titans offensive coordinator:

ESPN's Todd Archer writes that new Cowboys coach Mike McCarthy is pulling for his former team in the NFC playoffs:

"Well, you can't live in Green Bay and not follow them. It's probably the same here [in Dallas], I would think," McCarthy said. "It's part of the fabric of the community. The people have been awesome. That's our home -- that was our hometown. They've been great to my family and I, but it's great to see them back where they should be. You've got to give those guys a lot of credit. I think the roster and the coaching has given them a chance to get to the Super Bowl."

You can read the entire story here:

And finally:

Contact Stu Courtney at (920) 431-8377 or scourtney@gannett.com. Follow him on Twitter at @stucourt