3 key for NFC Championship game.

The last time these two teams faced, the 49ers got out to an early lead and went on to completely dominate the game. While the 49ers are favored in the game nobody is expecting the same game that happened in the regular season. Here are three things that both teams need to consider in order to win on Sunday.

1. Keep a balanced attack: Both teams need keep their attacks balanced to keep the defense on their heels and limit the pass rush.

The 49ers defense's strength is their pass rush but if the Packers stay out of obvious passing situations, the 49ers edge rushers won't be as effective. The Packers might ideally want to throw on every down but that plays into the strength of the 49ers defense.

The Packers defense isn't statistically good. Their strength is the pass rush with both Za'darius Smith and Preston Smith coming off the edges. The 49ers have to keep the run game strong to take these weapons out of the game but not rely to heavily on the run. The 49ers will see mismatches if they keep the run game strong and they will need to take advantage of them.

2. Eliminate the crossing routes: I don't see either team taking many deep shots in today's game. The best target on the Packers is Davante Adams and he's most effective on crossing routes. Similarly, the 49ers targets are best in the short passing game and specifically the crossing routes.

It is pivotal that both teams take away the crossing routes. The question is how they do that. Both teams might want to consider playing zone but the difficulty with that is it creates open spots on the defense. I see both teams playing a partial zone but having the top corners shadowing the number one or two targets on the offenses.

If both defenses take away the crossing routes, we will see two things from the offenses. Both offenses will start throwing flats to the running backs and taking their deep shots. This will be a risky attack but for the trip to the Super Bowl, expect all plays to be on the table.

3. The tight ends need to block: The best thing I saw last year in the AFC Championship game was Rob Gronkowski taking out the edge rushers of the Chiefs. It made the running game more effective and limited the defenses greatest strength.

The 49ers and Packers have great tight ends but these tight ends will need to limit the edge rushers on Sunday not only to keep the quarterbacks protected but to make the run game more effective. The 49ers have the tight end who can do that, George Kittle has been one of the greatest run blockers in the game since entering the league. The Packers will need Jimmy Graham to be out of his comfort zone on Sunday in order to win, he will need to help block Nick Bosa and Dee Ford who will constantly be looking to take down Aaron Rodgers on Sunday.