Aaron Rodgers leads the Green Bay Packers into an NFC divisional round playoff matchup against the San Francisco 49ers.
To get back to the Super Bowl, Rodgers needs to beat the 49ers in the postseason for the first time. That won’t be easy knowing the Packers won a thriller 30-28 in Week 3.
That will bring out a career-long narrative involving the future Hall of Fame quarterback. Rodgers is a native of Chico, Calif., who grew up supporting the 49ers, and several of the key narratives about his NFL career with Green Bay have involved San Francisco.
Those moments will be replayed when the Rodgers-led Packers play the 49ers this week:
The 49ers turned down Rodgers in the 2005 NFL Draft.
Rodgers could have been the No. 1 pick in the 2005 NFL Draft, but San Francisco chose Alex Smith from Utah instead.
That prompted a long wait in the green room for Rodgers, who was the No. 24 pick at quarterback pick. Washington took Jason Campbell with the No. 25 pick to fill out the first round of quarterbacks.
Rodgers took that snub as a snub. When asked if he was disappointed the 49ers didn’t draft him, Rodgers provided a response that is sure to be replayed multiple times on Monday.
“Not as disappointed as the 49ers will be that they didn’t draft me.”
Rodgers’ feud with former Packers coach Mike McCarthy involved the 49ers
Mike McCarthy was the 49ers’ offensive coordinator in 2005 and became the Packers’ coach in 2006. But Rodgers never forgot San Francisco’s decision to draft Smith, a decision McCarthy contributed to, even after Smith went on to play for the Chiefs. .
Take this example from Business Insider before the 2015 season.
“We played Kansas City in Week 3,” McCarthy said. “We won’t get through the first half of that week without him saying something. I’m sure of it.”
Rodgers and McCarthy had a deteriorating relationship at the time, and McCarthy was fired during the 2018 season. He is now the Cowboys’ coach.
Rodgers hasn’t beaten the 49ers in the playoffs.
Including three postseason matchups, Rodgers is 6-6 against San Francisco. That includes a 3-2 record at home.
Two of those games featured Smith when he was playing for San Francisco. Green Bay won the first meeting with Rodgers as the starter 30-24 on November 22, 2009 at Lambeau Field, but Smith returned the favor with a 30-22 win at the same venue on September 9, 2012.
Of course, Rodgers is 0-3 against San Francisco in the postseason.
Rodgers and the Packers lost to the 49ers in the playoffs in back-to-back years following the 2012 and 2013 seasons, with both losses coming at the hands of the quarterback-coach combination of Jim Harbaugh and Colin Kaepernick. Green Bay lost 45-31 at San Francisco in the 2012-13 division and 23-20 at Lambeau Field in the 2013-14 wild-card round.
The 2020 NFC Championship Game wasn’t much better. The 49ers led 27-0 at halftime and rushed for 285 yards in a 37-20 blowout. Rodgers finished 31-of-39 for 326 yards, two touchdowns and two interceptions in the loss. The 49ers lost Super Bowl LIV to the Kansas City Chiefs.
Rodgers won the last two meetings with the 49ers
Green Bay and San Francisco have met in the regular season the past two seasons. The Packers won 34-17 on November 5, 2020 in a game that was moved due to COVID-19 concerns. Rodgers finished 25 of 31 for 305 yards and four touchdowns.
The teams also played a Sunday Night Football thriller in Week 3. San Francisco took a 30-28 lead with 37 seconds remaining, but Rodgers put the Packers in position to win and Mason Crosby kicked a 51-yard field goal. when the time expired. Rodgers finished 23 of 33 for 261 yards and two touchdowns.
Brett Favre had more success against the 49ers
Everything Rodgers does in Green Bay compares to his predecessor Brett Favre, who went 11-1 against the 49ers while with the Packers (and 12-2 against them overall).
Favre tormented San Francisco with a 4-1 record in the postseason; his only loss came on Steve Young’s game-winning touchdown pass to Terrell Owens in the 30-27 thriller in the 1998-99 NFC Wild Card game.
The Packers made it to the Super Bowl twice under Favre, beating the 49ers in both playoff races.
Rodgers can get the Packers back in the NFC championship game
Favre played in the NFC championship game four times in Green Bay, going 2-2 in those games. One of those wins was a 23-10 win against San Francisco in the 1997-98 NFC Championship Game. That is the only conference championship meeting between the franchises.
Rodgers is 1-4 in NFC championship games, and four of those matchups have been on the road. Green Bay is the No. 1 seed in the NFC playoffs for the second straight season, and could potentially overtake the 49ers and Buccaneers, who beat the Packers 31-26 in the NFC championship game last season. The 49ers were reportedly one of the teams interested in trading for Rodgers last offseason. according to multiple reports.
The NFC divisional matchup will be a talking point, especially with the Packers at home.