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Packers head west to play 49ers

January 08, 2013 18:29:28 UK
Green Bay head coach Mike McCarthy.

A blown call by the replacement referees means that the third seeded Green Bay Packers are on the road this week to play the rested San Francisco 49ers.

The infamous call at the end of the game against the Seattle Seahawks in the third week of the season was the catalyst for an immediate deal with the regular officials as even president Barack Obama weighed in on the lockout.

Some 16 weeks later, that one play is still having an impact on the NFL as the Green Bay Packers would have been the second seed with the victory and would this weekend be hosting a Divisional Playoff game at Lambeau Field. Instead the Packers rolled the Minnesota Vikings 24-10 last Saturday and now play the 49ers at Candlestick Park in San Francisco.

In the other Divisional Playoff the Seahawks travel to Atlanta to play an intriguing Falcons side. Who are the real Falcons? Is it the side that started the season with eight consecutive victories and a Week 15 shutout of the New York Giants, or is it the side that was upset by the Carolina Panthers, only managed to beat the Oakland Raiders by three points and phoned it in on the final week of the season against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers?

Absent the complete destruction of the defending Super Bowl champion Giants, this would be a very suspect resume for a top seed.

The Seahawks on the other hand have won six in a row, including last week's wildcard victory over the Washington Redskins and, despite the loss of defensive end Chris Clemons, out with a torn ACL, appear to be the form team in the Division.

A rematch with the Packers in the NFC Championship does not seem out of the question, even if the Falcons and 49ers come into the games with an edge.

The Packers are 26.00 to win the Super Bowl, while the Seahawks can be backed at 1213.00 and the Falcons at 6.50.

Don't forget you can earn up to 50% more on your NFL pre-game parlays with bet365's fantastic 50% Parlay Bonus.

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