McCarren: Packers 'notice' 49ers are favored, Green Bay not 'disrespected'
GREEN BAY - Many oddsmakers have made the San Francisco 49ers about a three-point favorite in their NFC divisional playoff matchup Saturday night with the Green Bay Packers.
When asked on "Wisconsin's Morning News" whether the Packers are paying attention to such a spread, Newsradio 620 WTMJ Packers color commentator and TODAY'S TMJ4/NBC26 reporter Larry McCarren said, "I think they notice."
However, McCarren added "I wouldn't say the Packers are being tremendously disrespected."
He also gave understandable reasons for the 49ers favorite status.
"The Niners are at home. That accounts for it right there, plus the Niners beat them in game one. That's a perfectly understandable spread."
The 49ers' overall balance and excellence in the running game and defense also play a huge part in their being favored.
"(Running back) Frank Gore is no slouch," said McCarren.
"He's one of nine Pro Bowlers on the 49ers. He's a more-than-respectable back. They've got to maintain focus. There's challenges on both sides of the ball. The 49ers are the 4th ranked rushing team, and they're 4th against the run, 4th against the pass. If you want challenges, you can find them anywhere."
Could Coach McCarthy possibly turn such an underdog status into a bigger motivator than a three-point spread would lead to?
"Many times, a coach will manufacture a perceived slight to a football team, looking for a little edge, wherever it may be," explained McCarren.
"(Players) can't recite point spreads, but when people talk about opponents being vastly superior, it tends to wear on a locker room during the course of a week."
Want to know what's happening "behind enemy lines?" Check out NBC Bay Area's coverage of the 49ers.