Week 1 for the San Francisco 49ers has the team hosting the Green Bay Packers at the final season at Candlestick Park. The Niners have beaten Green Bay in the last two previous opening day matchups in 1976 and 2012.
The last time the two teams met was in the playoffs in the NFC Divisional Round. San Francisco defeated Green Bay, 45-31, in route to the Super Bowl last season. In franchise history the Niners have a 33-29-1 record on opening day. They have won in the season opener three of the last four years.
With the 49ers and Packers facing off in Week 1 this will mark the third time the two teams have played each other to start the season. This will be the 64th game between the Niners and Packers. Green Bay leads the all-time series over the Niners with a 34-28-1 record.
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 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.
2012 NFC Divisional Round Game: In what has become Colin Kaepernick’s signature game, when he rushed for a record 181 yards and threw for 263 yards and two touchdowns, the Niners killed the Packers, 45-31. Michael Crabtree hauled in nine receptions for 119 yard s and two touchdowns. While Frank Gore rushed for 119 yards and a touchdown.
All-Time Series History
Postseason Matchups: 6
Series Record: Packers lead series 34-28-1
Postseason Series Record: Packers lead series 4-2
49ers Home Record vs. Packers: 49ers lead series 17-11-1
49ers Postseason Home Record vs. Packers: 2-2
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: 1/12/13, 49ers win 45-31, at SF
Last Postseason Meeting: 1/12/13, 49ers win 45-31, at SF (NFC Divisional Round)
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)
47: The number of seasons the Niners has played at Candlestick Park. This season marks the final season at the ‘Stick.
181: Colin Kaepernick rushed for 181 rushing yards against the Packers in the NFC Divisional Playoff Game last season. It was the highest single-game rushing performance by a QB in NFL history.
.844: The Niners have a 13-2-1 regular season record (.844 winning percentage) at home under Jim Harbaugh.
2: Harbaugh has won his last two regular season openers as the Niners head coach.
1: TE Vernon Davis has recorded at least one touchdown reception in each of his four regular season games against the Packers.
8: CB Tarell Brown recorded a career-high eight tackles against Green Bay on Nov. 22, 2009.
5: In five career games against Green Bay, Vernon Davis has 17 receptions for 395 yards and four TDs.
- 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 Capers was head coach with the Houston 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.
- In a twist of irony, it was McCarthy who convinced then head coach Niners Mike Nolan to draft Alex 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 and guard Alex Boone played with Packers linebacker A.J. Hawk at Ohio State.
- 49ers cornerback Tarell Brown played with Packers 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.
History will be in the making this Sunday so if you’re looking to attend the game, make sure you grab San Francisco 49ers vs. Green Bay Packers tickets here.