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Matt Barrows discusses who 49ers want to see — and who would ‘scare’ them — in 1st round of playoffs



© Stephen R. Sylvanie | 2023 Jan 1

The Packers, Lions and Seahawks are three teams the 49ers could face in the first round of the NFL Playoffs, should they not get a first-round bye.

All three present intriguing matchups according to Matt Barrows of The Athletic, but it’s a team that has been the 49ers’ nemesis for years that he believes they want to see again.

“The Seahawks of those three teams, if you gave the 49ers truth serum, that would be the team that they’d want to play the most,” Barrows said.

Russell Wilson scars aside, the 49ers have taken care of business relatively easily vs. the Seahawks twice this season, including a blowout at Levi’s Stadium earlier this year. The Packers are also a team the 49ers have taken care of business against in the Kyle Shanahan era, but now probably isn’t the best time to see them according to Barrows.

“The one that would scare me is Aaron Rodgers,” Barrows continued. “I know this team has dominated Aaron Rodgers in the playoffs. It’s been one classic game after another where the 49ers end up winning. But this is Aaron Rodgers, a Hall of Famer, and they’re hot. A great quarterback can make huge plays. I just feel like he’s due for his own playoff miracle at some point against this team. You just want to avoid that possibility, that scenario.”

Perhaps the most intriguing, however, would be a matchup vs. the Lions, a team that Barrows says is still living in Shanahan’s head since last season.

You talk about a game that haunts this team, it’s that opening week game last year to the Lions where they were in cruise control in that game and all the sudden they weren’t,” Barrows concluded. “All the starters that had taken off their ankle tape and were on the sideline having a good time had to go back in. That’s the reason to this day when people ask ‘Why is Christian McCaffrey still playing? Why is George Kittle still playing?’ It’s because they watched that lead vanish in an eye blink and it scared the you-know-what out of them. That’s an interesting backdrop to that.”

Listen to the full interview below. You can listen to every KNBR interview on our podcast page at knbr.com/podcasts or wherever you listen to podcasts.

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