Whitner predicts 49ers-Bucs faceoff in NFC Championship Game originally appeared on NBC Sports Bayarea
The NBC Sports Bay Area analyst and former 49er anticipates Tom Brady and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers pulling off back-to-back upsets and advancing all the way to the conference title game, along with San Francisco.
“The 49ers are going to beat the Seattle Seahawks this weekend,” Whitner said on the latest edition of “Hitner’s Hot Take.”
“The Tampa Bay Buccaneers are going to beat the Dallas Cowboys. The second week of the playoffs, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers will travel to Philadelphia, upsetting the Philadelphia Eagles in preparation to come to Santa Clara to play the 49ers in the NFC championship.”
Should Whitner’s scenario of Tampa Bay beating Dallas next Monday night play out, that would mean that the Minnesota Vikings beat the New York Giants in the wild-card round, as the Eagles will play the lowest-remaining seed. The 49ers would need to beat the Vikings in the divisional round to advance to the conference championship, where they would hold home-field advantage over the Bucs as the higher seed.
And if it’s the Buccaneers they face, the 49ers will have plenty to take away from their blowout 35-7 victory over Tampa Bay in Week 14.
Purdy made NFL history that game by becoming the only quarterback to play Brady in his first career start and win. Since then, Purdy has gone on to win each of his four following starts -- the first signal-caller in franchise history to win his first five, and only the third rookie QB in NFL history to do so.
Now, the 23-year-old Mr. Irrelevant looks to lead his franchise to its sixth Super Bowl victory.
But if Whitner’s prediction proves true, they’ll have to get past a few teams -- including Brady and Co. -- first.