Fred Warner has learned a lot about the NFL playoffs in his six seasons, with the 49ers making the playoffs in over half of them.
With their fourth playoff appearance in five years, San Francisco's standout linebacker told NBC Sports Bay Area's Matt Maiocco how they can leverage their prior experience under the lights.
"I think any time you reach the playoffs, it's about not making the moment too big," Warner told Maiocco on "49ers Talk" following San Francisco's 21-20 loss to the Rams at Levi's Stadium on Sunday. "Be the same person all season to get here. In the playoffs, it's not about the best team. Whoever plays better that day.
And like I said, we're going to make sure that we're out best version of ourselves when that moment does come." Sunday, the 49ers weren't playing for anything after winning the NFC's top postseason spot in Week 17. They survived Week 18 and will get a first-round bye during Super Wild Card Weekend on Saturday.
The divisional round on Jan. 20-21 will put San Francisco back in the hunt for their sixth Super Bowl title. Warner and the 49ers' defense are ready to run Levi's gauntlet, even if they don't know who they'll play.
"I have really, really high expectations for myself and the defense, because if we truly do want to win a championship, I think defense wins championships," Warner said. "Our offensive has been great all season. Brock [Purdy] is playing well with so many playmakers.
"It's just going to be on us to make sure we hold teams to nothing." Three postseason appearances with Warner have ended in pain: a 2019 Super Bowl loss and 2021 and 2022 NFC Championship Game losses.
San Francisco intends to keep the event in perspective while playing its best this season. If Warner learns anything from his history, that strategy will work.
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