Here is the opening to my Sunday column about the 49ers-Packers matchup:

The 49ers have been getting some bad news lately.

Justin Smith is playing with one arm and their place-kicker, David Akers, forgot how to kick. Well, Akers is their place-kicker if he survives Jim Harbaugh’s kick-off against Billy Cundiff and manages to keep his job.

But on Saturday night, the Niners got great news. They will play the Green Bay Packers next Saturday at home in their first playoff game. Great news for the Niners.

To read the full column, click here.

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  1. Myk04

    No way they “luck

    January 5th, 2013 10:40 pm

  2. Myk04

    No way they lucked out! Its Aaron Rogers, Mike McCarthy, Offense that can put up alot of points. Cmon? On paper you can break it down how u want but NFL games are not played on paper.

    January 5th, 2013 10:43 pm

  3. Jumbo Shrimp

    I don’t understand how you and Grant both put out the exact same content? Is that allowed?

    January 5th, 2013 11:16 pm

  4. dharte


    Your tongue seems to be sticking out through your cheek and it looks painful. But the really interesting part of this story is what’s at stake for Harbaugh: he either wins or looks like a complete ass. Put up or shut up, Jimbo.

    You’ve got the team that Alex Smith beat in Lambeau, and now you’ve got them at home. You’ve had a bye week. And of course you won this round last year against another Super Bowl MVP quarterback and yet you’ve dumped the QB who won that playoff game.

    Time to get to work, coach.

    And if he loses, Lowell. What will you say about the gamble then? By game time, Harbaugh’s heart will be sorely tested, yet he’s brought ever bit of that pressure on himself.

    It will be fascinating to see how the kid reacts.

    January 6th, 2013 12:55 am

  5. jimmy

    Packers just rolled off a good win and have got things cookin’. Niners are sitting home on a bye with many questions. The writing is on the wall. This is not a good spot for them.

    January 6th, 2013 1:00 am

  6. CohnZohn

    Jumbo, We were watching the game together. We talked. I write for the paper. He writes for the internet. Plus he had stuff I didn’t have.

    January 6th, 2013 9:49 am

  7. CohnZohn

    dharte, You raise excellent points. I agree with every one of them. And you put your finger on what’s at stake for Harbaugh. I really did not write my column tongue in cheek. Honest.

    January 6th, 2013 10:22 am

  8. Dennis

    dharte and Lowell,

    I am going to stick up for Jim Harbaugh here. If they lose the game it will only mean they lost the game. That is it. That is all. I think you are both reading way too much into one game. I didn’t think that Alex Smith should be replaced. I thought he should be the starting quarterback. But that doesn’t necessarily mean the 49ers would have a better chance of beating the Packers with Alex starting. The game will be determined by a lot more than the quarterback position. If I was going to criticize Harbaugh at this point it would be that he stuck too long with David Akers.

    As much as I supported Alex Smith I have to admit that the 49ers did not lose anything by replacing him with Kaepernick. They didn’t gain anything either. The quarterback change will not have an effect on the outcome of the game. The kicker might though.

    January 6th, 2013 11:35 am

  9. Stan

    I don’t know Lowell. Two wins in one year over a good team isn’t good odds. Look at what happened to the Warriors. Heck,the 49ers just struggled to win back to back against a bad Arizona team.

    Also..I read that Aaron Rogers brother signed to be QB with some college( weeks ago). How bad as a recruiter had Tedford became when he couldn’t even talk his greatest pupils brother to consider Cal?

    January 6th, 2013 1:21 pm

  10. Stan

    wow- How things have changed. Remember when it was only pretentious wealthy white men who insisted on being called Robert Griffin the 3rd?
    Like he should be on Gilligan’s Island..

    January 6th, 2013 2:04 pm

  11. lameduck

    And here I am thinking that the Seattle Washington game has pun all over it.

    January 6th, 2013 2:30 pm

  12. RC


    Humbly, I have to disagree. Kap is better than Alex, they have gained something, they are much more potent on offense. Just look at the big plays. (plays over 20 yards)

    January 6th, 2013 3:03 pm

  13. Johnc

    I have to say that if the Niners lose to the Packers it is not because Alex Smith was not playing. Kaepernick is a superior quarterback. The Packers had no running game when they met early in the season. The Niners defense won the game with some Smith micro-managing. If the Packers win Sunday it will be because the defense could not stop Rodgers or the new improved Packer running game . The Niners better be able to run also. It seems lately Kaepernick is carrying the team on his back via his passing or running. Can Smith do that? NO!

    January 6th, 2013 6:22 pm

  14. Jumbo Shrimp

    Okay. I was just wondering because your stuff and his stuff share so many common thoughts, but yours reads more as a story written by a crafty veteran. Maybe that’s the difference between a real-life newspaper and a weblog. Thanks!

    January 6th, 2013 6:32 pm

  15. Jumbo Shrimp

    Hey, on that note, what do you think about having such close contact with your readers? How has it changed the way you go about your job? Does it at all? It’s almost like you have fans with whom you have conversations and it’s almost like we have instructors with whom we can have productive dialogues…

    January 6th, 2013 6:34 pm

  16. CohnZohn

    Jumbo, The internet changed everything for me. A few years ago, Grant suggested I write a blog and I resisted. He kept at it and I relented. I like the give and take with readers. I am social and like the interaction and I learn from others’ opinions and am happy to say I do.

    January 6th, 2013 6:46 pm

  17. NeverWrong

    Glad the Seahawks won but what’s with the ossified Shanahan sticking with limping RGIII. Nice going, Coach. Keep the guy in the game until he’s VERY injured.

    January 6th, 2013 8:15 pm

  18. Dennis


    I agree he looks more explosive and from a fantasy football standpoint might have better numbers. But every statistic you want to look at, starting with wins and losses, they are very close to the same. I think Alex’s yards per game are the same, his completion percentage and QB rating might be slightly better.

    January 6th, 2013 10:03 pm

  19. Stan

    So,Shanahan said that “He should be fired” if he hadn’t taken RG3 out after the 4th quarter. And the media gave the standard-”He should have come out in the first,etc”
    What gets me? When he did take him out…he made him go back to hug Shanahan when the game ended. Wouldn’t you think after spraining his knee,RG3′s knee should have been packed in ice? Not limping across the field to make Mike feel good.
    The Redskins were so conscious of bad publicity they FURTHER risked more damage with that fake show of coach love.

    January 7th, 2013 8:33 am

  20. Mark M

    Hard to think of facing the Packers in this round as a lucky occurrence. But after watching just how good the Seahawks looked again, I’m behind you %100. The Hawks looks suspiciously like the best team in the NFC.

    In terms of the QB controversy, I don’t buy any of that garbage theory that Harbaugh’s rep is on the line. You can’t step in the same stream twice and these two teams are clearly at different points in their evolution than they were in week 1. Kaep gives us another dimension on offense but it may not be enough if our D continues to play the way they have been minus J Smith. Defense remains our one biggest advantage over the competition and if this area has truly been compromised in the manner that recent results have shown, it matters not at all whom our QB is on Saturday.

    January 7th, 2013 9:53 am

  21. chris

    Yeah getting the Packers with their weak defense is probably the best the Niners could hope for……but I sill think they’ll lose……… 27-17 Green Bay.

    January 8th, 2013 9:12 am

  22. Stan

    RG3 knee that Shanahan risked? To the point they didn’t even ice it in the 4th quarter?’ It is now not strained any longer..but torn to pieces.
    Reminds me of Plunkett’s rookie year for the Patriots where they tried to make Jim run..and he blew out his knee. Thank you Chuck Knox and Mike Shanahan..one made us wait years for Jim to recover,Mike? he better hope.

    January 9th, 2013 1:02 pm

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