Niners could be in for a cold wild-card weekend

<P>The frozen tundra of Green Bay and legendary Lambeau Field. The icy winds blowing of Lake Michigan into storied Soldier Field.</P>

Those aren't the most welcome places for a visiting team to be playing in January. But unless things fall their way next Sunday, one of those two places likely will the 49ers' first-round destination in their first foray into the playoffs in three seasons. The Niners (11-4) will open the playoffs against either the Chicago Bears (12-3) or the Green Bay Packers (11-4) in a wild card game on the weekend of Jan. 12-13. If their opponent is the Bears, San Francisco would have to travel to Soldier Field in Chicago.

It's still possible San Francisco could host Green Bay on wild-card weekend. For that to happen, San Francisco would have to win its season finale at New Orleans while the Packers lose their finale in New York against the Giants. If the Packers and Niners win their games this weekend or if the Niners lose their game, San Francisco would travel to Green Bay. If Green Bay wins and Chicago loses its finale against Jacksonville, Green Bay would win the NFC Central and the Niners would travel to Chicago regardless of what San Francisco does in its game against the Saints. The most likely scenario has the Niners traveling either to Soldier Field or Lambeau Field in Green Bay.

 "They're not easy places to play," Garcia said. "If we could have it any sort of way, obviously we'd want to be at home. But we kind of messed that up a little bit with what happened (Sunday). If that is how it ends up, then that's just something that we're going to have to deal with and work through. It's going to be exciting no matter which way you look at it. We'll have to deal with whatever situation is put in front of us and I'm sure we'll respond well to it."


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