49ers

49ers' dominance of Packers has Za'Darius Smith searching for solution

49ers

The 49ers dominated the Green Bay Packers during the regular season, and followed that up with arguably an even more impressive performance in the NFC Championship Game. San Francisco led Green Bay 23-0 at halftime in Week 12 on its way to a 37-8 win. The Packers added 12 points to their final total in the NFC Championship Game, but the 49ers put that one away by halftime, too, leading 27-0 after two quarters.

Days after San Francisco clinched its trip to Miami to face the Kansas City Chiefs in Super Bowl LIV, Green Bay coach Matt LaFleur lamented his team's lack of urgency and toughness in the playoff loss at Levi's Stadium. A few days ahead of the big game, Packers Pro-Bowl edge rusher Za'Darius Smith echoed a similar sentiment of regret and didn't deflect the blame.

"We didn’t come ready to play," Smith said during an appearance on PFT Live. "I don’t know if everybody was sleeping, but I can tell you for myself that I wasn’t ready to play either. ... We weren’t ready to play football."

In addition to both matchups with San Francisco, Green Bay made one other trip out to the West Coast this past season, a 26-11 loss to the Los Angeles Chargers in Week 9. That means that over the three games the Packers played in the Pacific time zone in 2019, they were outscored 100-39 and outgained by an average of 133 total yards per contest. Sensing a theme, Smith mentioned it might be a good idea for Green Bay to reconsider its travel schedule for games on the West Coast moving forward.

 

Looking ahead, the Packers will play only one regular-season road game in the Pacific time zone next year.

Guess who the opponent is?

[RELATED: Kittle identifies key in 49ers going from 0-9 in '17 to SB]

That's right. The defending NFC -- and potentially Super Bowl LIV -- champions.

Programming note: NBC Sports Bay Area feeds your hunger for 49ers Super Bowl coverage with special editions of “49ers Central” all week (8:30 p.m. Thursday, 9:30 p.m. Friday, and 3 p.m. Saturday).

Also tune in at 1 p.m. on Super Bowl Sunday for a two-hour special of "49ers Pregame Live" with Laura Britt, Donte Whitner, Jeff Garcia, Ian Williams, Kelli Johnson, Greg Papa and Grant Liffmann. That same crew will have all the postgame reaction on "49ers Postgame Live," starting immediately after the game.