Patrick Willis doesn’t know who Matt Millen is

Matt MillenMatt Millen, the former NFL linebacker and former Lions president who currently serves as a TV analyst, was unimpressed with the 49ers’ linebackers when breaking down San Francisco’s loss to the Giants on Sunday. When 49ers linebacker Patrick Willis heard that Millen criticized him, he wasn’t happy.

Millen said on 95.7 The Game in San Francisco that he thought Willis and 49ers linebacker NaVorro Bowman had the worst game he had ever seen the two of them play on Sunday. Willis later went on the same radio show, heard the same comments, and said Millen doesn’t know what he’s talking about.
“Whoever this Matt Millen guy is, I’d like to ask him if he could do what we do every day and do what we do for 16 games a year and see if he can hold up every game,” Willis said, via “I doubt he would. I doubt he would be able to consistently play at a high level as Bowman and I do. I really don’t care about what this guy has to say.”
Now, it’s easy to rip Millen after his disastrous stint running the Lions, and believe me, I’ve ripped Millen plenty myself. But the reality is Millen did, in fact, play linebacker in the NFL at a high level. So Willis is wrong when he says Millen couldn’t do it. If Millen ever criticizes an NFL general manager for drafting too many bad wide receivers with Top 10 picks, that G.M. will be justified in saying Millen has no room to criticize. But Willis is wrong to suggest that Millen doesn’t know what he’s talking about when it comes to playing the linebacker position.
Still, Willis may be right to think that people were too quick to jump off the 49ers’ bandwagon this week. Read more…

2012 NFL playoff predictions

(6) Chicago Bears vs. (3) San Francisco 49ers  
Patrick Willis (52) and the 49ers’ defense proves to be too much for Jay Cutler, Matt Forte, and the rest of the Bears’ offense.

Both teams come into the 2012 playoffs having already clinched a playoff berth weeks ago. The 49ers proved to be a tougher team at home in 2011, and are just as tough a home team in 2012. The Bears’ offensive line troubles hurts them, as defensive end Justin Smith and linebackers Aldon Smith, Navorro Bowman, and Patrick Willis help limit Matt Forte’s production and pressure Jay Cutler enough to seal the victory. 49ers over Bears 

(5) Green Bay Packers vs. (4) Atlanta Falcons: 
Familiar playoff foes, the Packers enter the 2012 playoffs on a two-game winning streak, and the Falcons enter having clinched the NFC South division in the final week of the regular season. Last time these two teams met in the playoffs in Atlanta, the Packers defeated the Falcons, 48-21, en route to a victory in Super Bowl XLV. Don’t expect the same kind of game, but expect a similar result for Aaron Rodgers and company.
Packers over Falcons
(5) Green Bay Packers vs. (1) Detroit Lions 

In the last two seasons, the number-one seed hasn’t fared well in the divisional round, as the NFC’s top seed has been outscored 85-41 in the last two divisional round match ups. Although the Packers are only a couple of years removed from a Super Bowl win, the Lions utilize Megatron, wide receiver Calvin Johnson, to their full-advantage and edge the Packers in a close and high-scoring match up in the motor city. Lions over Packers

(3) San Francisco 49ers vs. (2) Philadelphia Eagles
The “dream team” finally makes an appearance in the postseason, and stand toe-to-toe with the NFC West champion 49ers in Philadelphia. With LeSean McCoy, DeSean Jackson, Jeremy Maclin, and Michael Vick, the Eagles have too much offensive fire power for the 49ers to handle, and defensive ends Jason Babin and Trent Cole make life miserable for 49ers quarterback Alex Smith, as the Eagles do not disappoint and reach the NFC Championship game for the first time since the 2008 season. Eagles over 49ers
(2) Philadelphia Eagles vs. (1) Detroit Lions

A potential exciting and explosive match up including some of the NFL’s greatest playmakers, the Eagles and Lions will execute big plays in exciting fashion. The NFC Championship will come down to which team has the stronger pass rush. The Lions possess a deep defensive line which includes Ndamukong Suh, Nick Fairley, Corey Williams, Cliff Avril, and Kyle Vanden Bosch, while the Eagles’ defensive line includes Babin, Cole, Cullen Jenkins, Fletcher Cox, Antonio Dixon, and Darryl Tapp. Which line do I have my money on? The Eagles, as the wide-9 gives Lions’ quarterback Matthew Stafford and the Lions’ offensive line a rough day. Eagles over Lions

Read the AFC predictions here…