Hosting a home playoff game as the number two seed in the NFC, the 49ers could go up against the Saints, Giants and Falcons in the second round. The extra week with the first round bye helps the 49ers heal injuries and to prepare. The dilemma for Jim Harbaugh and his coaches is how to prepare for three different teams. Do you focus on one team more than the other? Prepare for all of the teams equally? Here was Harbaugh’s answer to a local Bay Area radio station,
"More the Saints. The greater share would be preparing for the Saints."
Asked if that decision was a matter of simply playing the percentages, Harbaugh said,
"Yeah. Yeah, it is."
In one statement the 49ers head coach managed to give motivation to three playoff teams and potential opponents. You have to love Harbaugh being so honest about who the team is planning for. He could have given a cliché answer about all the teams being equal but that is not how Harbaugh operates. Intentional or not, he took a jab at the Lions the most. The 49ers can only meet the Lions in the NFC championship game because they are the No. 6 seed. The 49ers planning on playing the Saints implies the Lions will lose on Saturday.
Here was a reaction to Harbaugh’s comments from Lions DE Kyle Vanden Bosch,
“I don’t know if it was meant as a slight. I don’t know. It’s probably best that I don’t comment on that.”
Ha, I think it was meant as a slight. Harbaugh is competitive as hell and he showed that in the week six win over Jim Schwartz and the Lions. He also likes to stir up the pot with his comments. But Harbaugh has an out, if he wants one, with the Saints being favored by over ten points and the Lions in their first playoff game in 12 years. The Saints vs. Lions game will be closer than people expect. But sorry Lions fans, New Orleans will come out on top with the win. I wouldn’t take that as a slight.