Green Bay's history against the San Francisco 49ers goes back to 1950. In that year, the 49ers entered the NFL as a result of the NFL's merger with the All-America Football Conference (the other two teams that joined the NFL in the merger were the Cleveland Browns and Baltimore Colts. That version of the Colts folded after just one year in the NFL but the Browns are still around - after a move to Baltimore and a rebirth in 1999).
Although the Packers won their first game against the 49ers, this was an exception as the Packers were perennial cellar-dwellers while the 49ers, who were not great, nonetheless got the better of most of the early matchups. In fact, until Scooter McLean's disastrous 1958 season, the Packers lost 13 of 16 games against San Francisco, winning only the aforementioned 1950 game and both games in the 1955 season. The reason the Packers and 49ers played twice every year was because both teams were in the same conference.
The losing to the 49ers in general ended in 1959 with the arrival of Vince Lombardi as Packers' coach and the establishment of the Packers as one of the best teams in the 1960s. Green Bay would ultimately change it fortunes in the series, winning all but one of the games until the 1964 season. The 1964 season featured the beginning of a long, odd trend: the home team in every game would win nearly every game.
In 1965, the teams played to a 24-24 tie in San Francisco. It was this tie that allowed the Baltimore Colts to catch the Packers in the standings even though the Packers had beaten the Colts twice in the regular season and necessitated a playoff game against the Colts in Green Bay.
By 1968, Lombardi was gone as Packers coach. The series continued with the home team winning every game until the 1976 season, when the 49ers beat the Packers in Green Bay for the first time since 1956. Although the Packers would win the 1977 and 1980 games, the 1981 season saw the 49ers take off as the team that would dominate the NFL for much of the next 20 years. The series then switched, with San Francisco taking four games in Wisconsin while the Packers finally put an end to their losing streak in San Francisco by winning in 1989 in a shocking 21-17 upset.
The series then went on hold before it came back with a bang in the 1995 playoffs. The Packers, considered by many to be prohibitive underdogs while playing in San Francisco in the divisional round, nonetheless scored a 27-17 upset that was not as close as the final score indicated. The series returned with some regularity, but the Packers won the vast majority of games until 2010. Included in this stretch were several memorable games.
In 1996, the Packers went into overtime while rallying against the 49ers to win 23-20. In the playoffs that year, Desmond Howard ran one punt back for a touchdown and nearly broke another return, keying a 35-14 Packers victory. The 1997 game in San Francisco in the playoffs gave Green Bay the right to play in the Super Bowl. A year later, another playoff game in San Francisco saw the uncalled Jerry Rice fumble followed by the Terrell Owens touchdown catch with three seconds left to secure the only win for the 49ers in this stretch.
The Packers finally got some measure of payback in 2001, defeating the 49ers in the last playoff game at Lambeau Field before the renovations began in 2002. A year later, the Packers defeated the 49ers in San Francisco in a huge win for Green Bay. The 2003 game in Lambeau Field showed the Packers were a true running team that year.
In 2006, the Packers, fresh off three consecutive bad losses, went into San Francisco and defeated the 49ers 30-19. In 2009, Aaron Rodgers made his first start against the 49ers and defeated them, 30-24. The game the following year featured a memorable catch-and-run by Donald Driver for a long touchdown pass as the Packers defeated the 49ers yet again, 34-16.
In 2012, the 49ers finally managed to defeat the Packers. Helped by a stifling defense, San Francisco went into Green Bay and won 30-22. In the playoffs that year, the 49ers knocked the Packers out, 45-31, as it became established Green Bay had no answer for the read-option. This would prove to be the Packers' Achilles heel again in 2013 in San Francisco as the 49ers won once more. Then, in the playoffs that year, the Packers played San Francisco tough at home but a late dropped interception by Micah Hyde (which would have set the Packers up in game-winning field goal position) proved costly as the 49ers used a late field goal to win 23-20.
What are your memories of the Packers playing the 49ers?