Is it football time already? Seems like it, and the Green Bay Packers open up their 2013 season in San Francisco against the 49ers. This was a series chronicled in detail last year, twice no less. And now, I present the first of 16 regular-season series history posts that will appear this year.
The Packers currently lead the all-time series with the 49ers 30-26-1, and Green Bay maintains a 4-2 series edge in postseason play.
The 49ers entered the NFL in the 1950 season, along with the Cleveland Browns (more on them later this year) and Baltimore Colts (who folded after that season). Although the Packers won the first game with the 49ers, that was just one of the very few highlights of the series as the 49ers, while not good, were more than a match for the 1950s Packers who often found themselves in the NFL's basement. As both teams were in the Western Conference, they played each other twice a year until the 1966 season (except for 1951 and 1952, when they met just once).
The whole dynamic changed in 1959, when Vince Lombardi became the Packers' head coach. The Packers would win ten of their first 11 games against the 49ers with Lombardi coaching, heading into the midway point of the 1964 season. From then on until the early 1980s, the home team won all but two games, one being a 24-24 tie in San Francisco in 1965, and the other being a 26-14 49ers triumph in Green Bay in 1976. Most of those games were relatively close, often within one score or less. And, like the series with the Rams, the Packers and 49ers met every few years up until 1981.
In 1981, the 49ers and their "West Coast Offense" were making strides and changing how the game was played. San Francisco would win four of the next five games between the teams, the only Packers victory being a 21-17 shocker in San Francisco in 1989. It was the first Packers road win over the 49ers since 1963, which, coincidentally enough, also saw the Packers win 21-17. Curiously, each of the 49ers' wins over the Packers in the 1980s were in Green Bay or Milwaukee.
The series then went on hold until after the 1995 season. While the Cowboys and 49ers were seen as the two top teams in the NFC, the Packers were an afterthought, even in the postseason that year when Green Bay went to San Francisco. Surprise was in store for everyone, however, as the Packers left San Francisco with a 27-17 victory in the Divisional Playoffs, in a game that wasn't even as close as the final score would suggest.
Including playoffs, the Packers would win 13 of 14 games over the 49ers from 1995-2010. The games occurred every year, up until 2003 when the Packers defeated the 49ers 20-10 in Lambeau Field. Three years later, in 2006, the Packers went into San Francisco and again beat the 49ers 30-19.
A year earlier, the 49ers had passed on a lifelong fan of theirs in the NFL draft named Aaron Rodgers, as some boards had Rodgers going to the 49ers as the top overall pick. He fell through the draft and the Packers picked him with the 24th pick. In 2009, Rodgers, now established as the Packers starter, had a chance to make his boyhood team pay, and he did, throwing for 344 yards as the Packers defeated the 49ers 30-24. Rodgers would duplicate this feat in 2010, defeating the 49ers 34-16 in a throwback-clad game at Lambeau Field.
The Packer run over the 49ers came to a crashing end in 2012. The 49ers, led by one of the premiere defensive units in the NFL, went into Lambeau Field and dealt the Packers a 30-22 defeat, Green Bay's first home loss in almost two years. Then in the playoffs, the Packers went up against Colin Kaepernick in San Francisco. Helped by a read-option play and the nearly-always out-of-position Erik Walden, the 49ers ran roughshod over the Packers, defeating Green Bay 45-31.
What are your memories of the Packers playing the 49ers?
More from Acme Packing Company:
- Packers Finalize Practice Squad Roster, Add Adams and Hill
- Packers 2013 Season Preview: Q&A with SBNation
- Packers Sign Seneca Wallace, Release B.J. Coleman
- Packers 2013 Practice Squad: Tracking the Signings
- Packers Final* 53-Man Roster