It can't come down to Colin Kaepernick vs. Aaron Rodgers on Saturday, not if the 49ers want to set the pace of this playoff game.
It would be highly entertaining to see, but it almost certainly wouldn't work for the 49ers.
This game can't have the echoes of an old-school 49ers-Green Bay quarterback opera, can't repeat Steve Young vs. Brett Favre, can't ignore who the 49ers are and what they still do best.
For one more week at least, the 49ers have to be bullies again.
If this divisional-round game is about Frank Gore, Mike Iupati, NaVorro Bowman, Aldon Smith and Donte Whitner, the 49ers win.
And if it's about Rodgers going throw for throw with Kaepernick, the 49ers probably will be in some trouble that they might not be able to escape.
There wasn't a lot to take out of the Packers' near-scrimmage against wounded Minnesota in the first round Saturday, but one thing: Rodgers is throwing well, and when Rodgers is throwing well, watch out.
If the 49ers -- or any team -- lets Rodgers get into a rhythm throwing to his endless set of playmakers, the Packers are almost impossible to stop.
Of course, I'm not saying the 49ers have zero chance if they get behind early and this turns into an aerial circus.
If Justin Smith is as limited as expected, that all very well might happen, and the 49ers could switch on the offensive turbo-boosters.
Just a year ago, they beat the pass-crazed New Orleans Saints in this same round with an explosion of big pass plays in the late-going.
But that was with Alex Smith at QB, not Kaepernick, and that game was far more perilous than the 49ers wanted it to be.
Maybe in a year -- maybe in another week -- the 49ers will comfortably go into any big game ready and more than able to depend on Kaepernick for 300 yards, 40 throws and zero huge errors.
I think that was the point of making the QB switch in the first place -- Smith was Jim Harbaugh's QB for cautious times; Kaepernick is the guy Harbaugh believes can eventually win tough playoff games on his own.
It just probably shouldn't and can't be this game, not when Green Bay features Rodgers and a defense that can be tricky for young QBs.
The 49ers played it perfectly in their 30-22 Week 1 victory at Lambeau Field. They ran it 32 times for 186 yards, kept Rodgers out of sync, and they dared Green Bay to run it, and Green Bay still couldn't run it.
When the 49ers needed the big play, it was Bowman slicing in front of a Rodgers pass in the fourth quarter to seal the game.
Familiar refrain: That also was with Smith playing one of his finest games (125.6 passer rating), balancing the power run style with an efficient pass attack.
But the 49ers have committed to Kaepernick now, for good reasons, and they are a different offense.
The 49ers are more dynamic under Kaepernick than they were with Smith, but they're also more erratic.
They consistently threaten the deep spots of a defense, but they also are having a tougher time running it consistently.
The stats are pretty easy to see:
In the seven Kaepernick games, they've gained only 38.4 percent of their yards on the ground.
They had more passing yards than rushing yards in each of Kaepernick's seven games, and averaged 137 yards on the ground.
By making that move, and using a lot more shotgun formations, the 49ers have put more responsibility on a younger QB, and we have certainly seen signs that the young QB is capable of doing some great things.
It also makes the 49ers a less physical team than they used to be, however.
That new finesse style might be better for the 49ers in the long term, or even for next week, if they have to go to Atlanta or host the Seahawks.
If Kaepernick is the QB Harbaugh believes can win a Super Bowl, then eventually he will have to let him loose in an all-important moment.
But that's not this week, at least that shouldn't be the plan.
For this week at least, the 49ers have to turn back and go old-school 2011 smash-mouth in this game.
The 49ers can save the QB heroics for later, because if there's going to be a QB to win this for his team single-handedly at Candlestick on Saturday, it likely won't be their guy.
Or their team.