49ers should be happy to face Packers in divisional round of NFL playoffs

Aaron Rogers #12 of the Green Bay Packers (Photo by Michael Zagaris/San Francisco 49ers/Getty Images)
Aaron Rogers #12 of the Green Bay Packers (Photo by Michael Zagaris/San Francisco 49ers/Getty Images) /
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Jimmy Garoppolo, San Francisco 49ers
San Francisco 49ers quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo (10) Mandatory Credit: Cary Edmondson-USA TODAY Sports /

Reason No. 4: 49ers are playing with house money

2021 is going to be viewed as a successful season for head coach Kyle Shanahan and Co. no matter what the final outcome is.

At the year’s outset, San Francisco wasn’t considered a Super Bowl contender. Perhaps a playoff team, but not a true contender to knock off teams like the Packers or Tampa Bay Buccaneers. And at one point, back when the 49ers were 3-5 and dealing with the stain of a four-game losing streak, merely making the playoffs seemed like a pipe dream.

If anything, 2021 was a year of transition. The Niners were hoping to send quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo off in style, if not with a championship, opening the door for the No. 3 overall pick from the 2021 NFL Draft, quarterback Trey Lance, to take over in 2022.

It’s not known how much of a factor that all played during San Francisco’s cold streak. But it is safe to say the 49ers, at least at one point this year, were forced to question everything and were probably looking more towards all that needed to be fixed instead of what could potentially work out well.

The point is simple, though. The Niners got off that schneid and finished the regular season strong, earned a playoff berth in a must-win Week 18 game over the Rams, then went on to secure a playoff victory against a longtime rival in the Cowboys.

The majority of realistic expectations for San Francisco this season probably projected something along those lines in 2021 and in January of 2022.

And here we are.

So, if the 49ers do end up losing to the Packers, at least the Niners met expectations.

A win would be pure gravy on top.

Next. Ranking 49ers' 10 best teams in franchise history. dark