Before Bears fans start reveling in the Packers' demise, they should remember that their team still has to catch up with Green Bay. | AP
1. The Packers aren't flawless. McCarthy and Aaron Rodgers both refused to consider that sitting Rodgers in Week 17 with a playoff bye might have contributed to Rodgers' subpar performance against the Giants. But one thing's for sure: it didn't help.
2. Lovie Smith doesn't acknowledge misjudgments often, but even Lovie tacitly admitted last year that coasting in previous playoff seasons had a negative impact when he went all out against the Packers in Week 17. How long before McCarthy realizes that?
3. Though the Colts once lost three straight playoff openers after coasting in Week 17 (and won the Super Bowl when they didn't coast in Week 17 in 2006), it's true that the evidence is not conclusive that resting starters regulars impacts playoff teams.
4. But most teams that overcome it have other things going their way — like perfect conditions in a dome. The Packers were playing in windy, chilly conditions at Lambeau, which only added to the degree-of-difficulty.
5. The NFC Championship Game will feature two quarterbacks who are finally getting their due. But don't forget, Eli Manning and Alex Smith both were No. 1 overall draft picks. Like others before them, they had to fail before they could succeed.
6. Even more than Eli Manning, Smith looked like a failed No. 1 overall pick who might never recover. But he's a great example of how circumstantial success is in the NFL. Smith was 25-1 in high school, 21-1 at Utah and is 14-3 as a starter under Harbaugh
7. Speaking of winners, Jim and John Harbaugh share a rare distinction among NFL coaches: Neither has ever been fired from a football job.
8. When it comes to stubborn coaches, Saints D-coordinator Gregg Williams is the man-to-man version of Lovie Smith. Leaving safety Malcolm Jenkins on Vernon Davis in the final minute after he had been burned for a long pass play was asking for trouble.
9. Prior to the 49ers' final drive, Davis already had five receptions for 119 yards. No other 49ers receiver had more than 25 yards at that point. Common sense says you don't let Davis beat you. Yet he did with relative ease.
10. Four tight ends — Davis, Saints' Jimmy Graham, Patriots' Rob Gronkowski and Aaron Hernandez — produced more in 212 offensive plays (26 catches, 483 yards, 8 TDs) on Saturday than the Bears' Kellen Davis and Matt Spaeth did in 978 plays this season (25