There were times when Bill Walsh was so eerily cognizant of how a game might play out that he seemed almost psychic.
Take the 1981 NFC Championship Game. The "NFL Today" pregame show for that contest had an interview that interspersed Walsh and Tom Landry's comments about the strengths and weaknesses of their respective teams.
Walsh offered a number of insightful blurbs, but the best one was when he told the interviewer that "the winning team will probably score four touchdowns and the loser will probably score three touchdowns." That prediction turned out to be right on the money, as the 49ers posted four touchdowns to the Cowboys' three on their way to a hard-fought 28-27 victory.
The likely reason Walsh said that is because he realized his Niners had allowed four touchdowns in a single game only twice during the entire 1981 season and one of those occurred way back in Week 3. It was his way of telling himself and his team that if they could find a way to put the ball in the end zone four times, they were almost certain to win the game.
Lovie Smith isn't part of the Walsh coaching tree, but in all likelihood he is approaching this Sunday's NFC title matchup in a similar way -- but from a defensive perspective.