(WFRV) – When you think of the Green Bay Packers’ biggest rivals, the Chicago Bears and Minnesota Vikings first come to mind.
But the Packers have had some epic games with the San Francisco 49ers in their storied 71-year rivalry, experiencing the thrill of victory 33 times in the regular season, losing 28, and tying once.
The closeness of the rivalry is reflected in the scoring in those 62 games: Packers 1,285, 49ers 1,287. The teams are 4-4 in postseason play and San Francisco leads 3-2 in exhibition games.
The teams are 1-1 in NFC Championship Games, with the 49ers winning handily, 37-20, in January 2020 and Green Bay prevailing in January 1998 by a 23-10 score. The Packers lead 2-1 in NFC Divisional play, while San Francisco holds a 2-1 edge in Wild Card playoff contests.
The Packers will travel to Levi’s Stadium for the fourth time in the past 22 months, with Green Bay ending a string of three straight 49ers victories with a 34-17 triumph November 5th last season against an injury- and COVID 19-ravaged team.
San Francisco is unbeaten this season (2-0) and hosts the 1-1 Packers in prime time Sunday night in game that will give a litmus test of where both teams stand early in the 2021 season.
And tonight, Green Bay faces a 49ers team with quarterback Jimmy Garappolo, tight end George Kittle, and defensive end Nick Bosa.
Green Bay took a big hit Saturday night with the announcement Saturday afternoon that guard Elgton Jenkins (ankle) was ruled out, and then lost another starter with this afternoon’s news that starting cornerback Kevin King is out due to illness.
A formidable match-up challenge with the 49ers defensive front just got tougher with Jenkins out and rookie Eric Stokes will be targeted by a talented group of receivers led by Deebo Samuel, Brandon Aiyuk, and George Kittle.
Packers new defensive coordinator Joe Barry’s unit will have to prove it can stop the run and generate a pass rush against a top NFC contender early in the season after shaky performances in the first six quarters of the 2021 season.
Quarterback Aaron Rodgers, who rebounded from a dismal Week 1 performance against New Orleans, always has extra motivation when facing the 49ers, the team he rooted for as a youngster that later spurned him in the 2005 NFL Draft.
“I have so many great memories watching those great teams from the late 80s and early 90s—before many of my teammates were born—and still have a lot of love and affection for the area,” Rodgers said. “Went to college there, still keep in touch with many folks from Cal that I got to meet or play with, and that area will always be special to me for sure.”
Week 3 NFL Picks
49ers 33, Packers 27
Last season, it was a 34-17 cakewalk against a star-less team. Garoppolo, Kittle, and Bosa are back, and Green Bay needs a solid performance in all three phases to repeat in their house of horrors. Rodgers is in for a long night if patch-work offensive line can’t handle 49ers’ talented front and without an effective running game to minimize the rush.