The quest for six champions for the San Francisco 49ers begins on Saturday with the NFC Divisional Round playoff game against the Green Bay Packers. Back in Week 1 the 49ers defeated the Packers 30-22 in Green Bay, but both are quite different teams from the last time they met.
San Francisco punched their ticket to the playoffs and first-round bye by winning their second straight NFC West title. Green Bay also won their division for the second straight season, the NFC North, and won their Wild Card home game against the Minnesota Vikings 24-10 to advance in the playoffs.
The 49ers and Packers have a rich rivalry not only in the regular season, but also in the playoffs. So we should see an exciting contest and I expect to be on the edge of my seat throughout the game. Here is look at the matchup between the bitter rivals.
With the 49ers and Packers going up against each other this will mark the sixth postseason matchup between the two teams. Green Bay has a 4-1 record in the all-time series in the postseason. The 49ers enter the postseason with a 26-17 (.605) record in playoff games since the NFL merger in 1970. In Divisional Playoff Games, San Francisco is 13-7 (.650), including a 12-3 mark at home and a 1-4 record away.
The 49ers-Packers rivalry started back in 1950 when the teams first met. But the rivalry was at its peak in the 1990’s with the 49ers led by Steve Young and the packers led by Brett Favre. Here are the most memorable postseason games in the rivalry:
1996 NFC Divisional game: By the end of the first half the 49ers were already down 21-3. In the second half the 49ers scored two touchdowns, but Young’s playoff record of 65 pass attempts (he only completed 32 passes) was not enough to beat the Packers. Favre and the Packers not only embarrassed the 49ers on their home turf, but they also stopped the 49ers from repeating as Super Bowl Champions. The Packers win was the only time in the 1990’s an NFC team won a divisional round game on the road.
1997 NFC Divisional game: For the second straight postseason the 49ers found themselves going up against the Packers again in the NFC Divisional game. This time it was in Green Bay but again they lost, this time 35-14. A big key to the 49ers loss was turning over the football five times. The Packers built a 14-0 lead in the first quarter of the game on just three offensive plays. Steve Young was injured in the game and replaced by Elvis Grbac. The 49ers tried to mount a comeback, but by the time the 49ers scored their second touchdown, the Packers already had 35 points.
1998 NFC Championship game: Facing the Packers for a third straight time in the playoffs, this time in the NFC Championship game, the 49ers were again embarrassed by the Packers with a loss. The field at 3Com Park was muddy and slippery which hurt the 49ers offense. San Francisco only scored one touchdown and had 257 total yards in the 23-10 loss.
1999 NFC Wild Card game: The Catch 2! With the fourth time being a charm, the 49ers finally defeated the Packers in the playoffs. This game is in the top-three of my favorite victories for the 49ers. Who can forget the back-and-forth in scoring that went on between the 49ers and Packers? And the way it ended with Young connecting with Terrell Owens on a 25-yard game winning touchdown pass with eight seconds left was simply amazing. I will never forget the pure joy and excitement watching Young throw to Owens, and the 49ers announcers yelling, ‘Owens, Owens, Owens!’ It still gives me chills and puts a big smile on my face thinking about it.
All-Time Series History
Postseason Matchups: 5
Series Record: Packers lead series 34-27-1
Postseason Series Record: Packers lead series 4-1
49ers Home Record vs. Packers: 49ers lead series 16-11-1
49ers Postseason Home Record vs. Packers: 1-2
49ers Away Record vs. Packers: Packers lead series 23-11
49ers Postseason Away Record vs. Packers: Packers lead series 2-0
First Meeting: 11/26/50, Packers win 25-21, at GB
First Postseason Meeting: 1/6/96, Packers win 27-17, at SF (NFC Divisional Round)
Last Meeting: 9/9/12, 49ers win 30-22, at GB
Last Postseason Meeting: 1/13/02, Packers win 25-15, at GB (NFC Wild Card Round)
Most 49ers Points: 48 – 2 times (Last 12/7/58), 48-21, at SF
Most Postseason 49ers Points: 30, (1/3/99), 30-27, at SF (NFC Wild Card Round)
Most Packers Points: 41, (10/23/60), 41-14, at GB
Most Postseason Packers Points: 35, (1/4/97), 35-14 at GB (NFC Divisional Round)
49ers History In Divisional Playoff Round
Divisional Playoff Games: 20
49ers Record: 13-7 (Home: 12-3/ Away: 1-4)
First Game: 49ers win 17-14 at Min. (12/27/70)
Last Game: 49ers win 36-32 vs. NO (1/14/12)
Current Streak: Won 1
Longest SF Win Streak: 6 (1/4/87 – 1/7/95)
Last SF Home Win: 49ers win 36-32 vs. NO (1/14/12)
Last SF Home Loss: Packers win 27-17 vs. GB (1/6/96)
Last SF Road Win: 49ers win 17-14 at Min. (12/27/70)
Last SF Road Loss: Buccaneers win 31-6 at TB (1/12/03)
Most SF Points: 44 – twice; Last 49ers win 44-15 vs. Chi.
Most Opp. Points: 49; Giants win 49-3 at NYG (1/4/87)
Total SF Points: 519
Total Opp. Points: 436
Average SF Points: 26.0
Average Opp. Points: 21.8
Largest SF Win: 41; 49ers win 44-3 vs. NYG (1/15/94)
Largest Opp. Win: 46; Giants win 49-3 at NYG (1/4/87)
49ers Results In Divisional Playoff Round
Season (Date) W/L: Score
1970 (12/27) W: San Francisco 17, Minnesota 14
1971 (12/26) W: San Francisco 24, Washington 20
1972 (12/23) L: Dallas 30, San Francisco 28
1981 (1/3) W: San Francisco 38, New York Giants 24
1983 (12/31) W: San Francisco 24, Detroit 23
1984 (12/29) W: San Francisco 21, New York Giants 10
1986 (1/4) L: New York Giants 49, San Francisco 3
1987 (1/9) L: Minnesota 36, San Francisco 24
1988 (1/1) W: San Francisco 34, Minnesota 9
1989 (1/6) W: San Francisco 41, Minnesota 13
1990 (1/12) W: San Francisco 28, Washington 10
1992 (1/9) W: San Francisco 20, Washington 13
1993 (1/15) W: San Francisco 44, New York Giants 3
1994 (1/7) W: San Francisco 44, Chicago 15
1995 (1/6) L: Green Bay 27, San Francisco 17
1996 (1/4) L: Green Bay 35, San Francisco 14
1997 (1/3) W : San Francisco 38, Minnesota 22
1998 (1/9) L: Atlanta 20, San Francisco 18 Atl.
2002 (1/12) L: Tampa Bay 31, San Francisco 6
2011 (1/14) W: San Francisco 36 vs. New Orleans 32
Head-to-Head 2012 Comparison
49ERS (rank) PACKERS (rank)
11-4-1 (1st NFCW) Record 11-5 (1st NFCN)
24.8 (11th) Points Per Game 27.1 (5th)
361.8 (11th) Total Offense 359.4 (13th)
155.7 (4th) Rushing Offense 106.4 (20th)
206.1 (23rd) Passing Offense 253.1 (9th)
30:49 (10th) Possession Average 30:26 (t-14th)
17.1 (2nd) Points Allowed Per Game 21.0 (11th)
294.4 (3rd) Total Defense 336.8 (11th)
94.2 (4th) Rushing Defense 118.5 (17th)
200.2 (4th) Passing Defense 218.3 (11th)
38 (t-11th) Sacks 47 (4th)
14 (t-16th) Interceptions 18 (t-8th)
48.1 (3rd) Punting Avg. (Gross) 42.9 (26th)
+9 (t-8th) Turnover Differential +7 (10th)
- 12: San Francisco has 12-3 record at home in the Divisional Round of the NFL Playoffs.
- 2: Head coach Jim Harbaugh joined George Seifert as the only coaches in franchise history to win the NFC West in each of their first two seasons.
- 1,000: RB Frank Gore (1,214 rushing yards) and WR Michael Crabtree (1,105 receiving yards) became the first set of 49ers to surpass 1,000 rushing yards and 1,000 receiving yards in the same season since 2003.
- 19.5: LB Aldon Smith set the franchise single-season sack record with 19.5 sacks this season.
- 5: Packers head coach Mike McCarthy is his fifth postseason in seven year tenure.
- 17: The 49ers offense had 17 runs of 20 or more yards this season, ranking t-2nd in the NFL.
- 36: The 49ers defense allowed just 36 drives to reach the red zone this season, ranking 1st in the NFL.
- 3: San Francisco has hosted Green Bay three times in the playoffs.
- 4: Number of wins Green Bay has in the postseason over San Francisco.
- 464: Yardage gained by Packers RB Alex Green on the ground, which led the team in 2012.
- 13: Sacks by Packers LB Clay Matthews this season. He was half a sack shy of tying his career high.
- 38: Since 1980, amount of playoff games the 49ers have played in.
- 31: Since 1980 amount of playoff games the Packers have played in.
- 62: Number of times San Francisco and Green Bay have played each other in their series history.
- 85: Receptions recorded by WR Michael Crabtree this season.
- Colin Kaepernick was born in Milwaukee, WI.
- 49ers defensive coordinator Vic Fangio held the same position when Packers defensive coordinator Dom Capers was head coach with the Panthers from 1995-1998. Fangio was again Capers’ DC from 2002-2005 when he was head coach with the Texans.
- 49ers offensive coordinator Greg Roman also coached for Capers with Panthers from 1995-1997 in various positions. Like Fangio, Roman was also with the Texans from 2002-2005 as the tight ends and quarterbacks coach under Capers.
- More Capers and 49ers coaching connections: Assistant head coach/special teams coordinator Brad Seely held the same position with the Panthers under Capers from 1995-1998.
- 49ers’ secondary coach Ed Donatell was the Packers defensive coordinator from 2000-2003.
- Before taking over as head coach of the Packers, Mike McCarthy was the 49ers offensive coordinator in 2005, Alex Smith’s first season.
- In a twist of irony, it was McCarthy who convinced then head coach Niners Mike Nolan to draft Smith over Aaron Rodgers.
- Rodgers is from Chico, CA (Northern California), attended the University of California, Berkeley and grew up a 49ers fan.
- Packers outside linebackers coach Kevin Greene played for the 49ers in 1997.
- WR James Jones is from San Jose, CA, played QB, WR and FS at Gunderson High School in San Jose and attended San Jose State.
- From 2002-2005, 49ers safety Donte Whitner, receiver Ted Ginn Jr. and guard Alex Boone played with Packers linebacker A.J. Hawk at Ohio State.
- 49ers cornerback Tarell Brown played with Packers running back Cedric Benson (2003-2004) and tight end Jermichael Finley (2005-2006) at the University of Texas.
- 49ers quarterbacks coach Geep Chryst is from Madison, WI and coached the quarterbacks at Wisconsin–Platteville in 1987 and was a graduate assistant at the University of Wisconsin in 1988.