From one historic rival to another, the San Francisco 49ers are trying to bully their way to an NFC Championship Game on Saturday night (8:15 p.m., FOX) while exorcising another demon.
After defeating the Dallas Cowboys in thrilling fashion last week in the NFC Wild Card Round, the 49ers travel to Lambeau Field — where playoff football probably should have been invented — to face the conference’s No. 1 seed in the Green Bay Packers.
This will be the ninth time that the Packers and 49ers are meeting in the playoffs with the series currently tied at four games apiece. It’s been all San Francisco as of late, too, as each of its last three postseason appearances (2012, 2013, 2019) featured victories over Green Bay. Two of those ended in losses in the Super Bowl.
This year’s installment features one of the most well-rounded Packers teams we’ve seen in quite some time. Aaron Rodgers’ dynamic passing game has been supported by a defense that has flirted with the NFL’s top-10 all season. They also had an extra week to prepare for Saturday night as their standing as the No. 1 NFC seed earned them a bye in the Wild Card Round.
However, the 49ers showed what they could do against a high-powered attack. After all, they limited the NFL’s No. 1 offense in the Cowboys to just 17 points last weekend while their brand of “bully ball” ripped Dallas apart for 169 rushing yards and two touchdowns.
Strength vs. finesse, again. This time in Green Bay.
If history means anything, we’re going to have a close game on our hands. These two teams met in Week 3 in Santa Clara with the Packers escaping with a narrow 30-28 victory.
49ers vs. Packers NFC Divisional Round Tale of the Tape
|No. 6 49ers||Stat||No. 1 Packers|
|11-7 (3rd, NFC West)||Record (including playoffs)||13-4 (1st NFC North)|
|25.1 (13th in NFL)||Points/game||26.5 (10th in NFL)|
|248.3 (12th in NFL)||Passing yards/game||253.8 (8th in NFL)|
|127.4 (7th in NFL)||Rushing yards/game||111.8 (18th in NFL)|
|21.5 (9th in NFL)||Points allowed/game||21.8 (13th in NFL)|
|206.5 (6th in NFL)||Passing yards allowed/game||219.1 (10th in NFL)|
|103.5 (7th in NFL)||Rushing yards allowed/game||109.1 (11th in NFL)|
49ers vs. Packers NFC Divisional Round Players to Watch
- Deebo Samuel, WR, SF: 72 rushing yards, 1 TD, 3 receptions, 38 receiving yards in Wild Card Game
- Elijah Mitchell, RB, SF: 27 rushes, 96 yards, 1 TD in Wild Card Game
- George Kittle, TE, SF: 71 receptions, 910 yards, 6 TD in 2021
- Nick Bosa, DE, SF: 15.5 sacks, 52 tackles, 32 QB hits, 21 tackles for loss, 4 forced fumbles in 2021
- Aaron Rodgers, QB, GB: 68.9% completion rating, 4,115 yards, 37 TD, 4 INT in 2021
- Davante Adams, WR, GB: 123 receptoins, 1,553 yards, 11 TD in 2021
- Rasul Douglas, CB, GB: 57 tackles, 5 INT, 2 TD, 13 passes defended in 2021
- De’Vondre Campbell, LB, GB: 146 tackles, 2.0 sacks, 2 INT, 2 forced fumbles, 6 tackles for loss, 6 QB hits in 2021
A version of this article first appeared on AMNY.com