Packers, Niners have a past.


Sep 4, 2008
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This week's game at San Francisco will be the 66th meeting between the Packers and 49ers dating back to 1950. The year the 49ers joined the NFL as a survivor of the short-lived All America Football Conference that tried to challenge the NFL just after World War II.

The Packers and Niners faced each other twice each season, home and away, for the first 17 years until 1966 when both were members of the Western Conference of the NFL. When the NFL moved to the divisional format in 1967 and placed the Packers in the Central Division and the 49ers in the Coastal with the Colts, Rams and Falcons they continued an annual game through 1970.

During the Lombardi 1960's the 49ers were a pesky opponent for the Packers. They forced a tie in the final game of the 1965 season that forced the Packers into a sudden death overtime playoff with the Baltimore Colts for the Western title and the launch of their "threepeat" run of world championships.

In 1966 the Niners were the first team and one of only two to hand the Super Bowl I Champion Packers a loss during that season.

And in the third to last game of the 1968 season they effectively ended the Packers dynasty when they rallied from a 20-7 deficit with 20 unanswered points to beat the Packers 27-20. The Colts mathematically eliminated the Packers from the playoffs the next week but the loss at San Francisco was really the mortal blow.

They were a spoiler for the Packers again in 1970. The Packers had won 4 of 6 games following an opening day 40-0 debacle against the Lions and were in the thick of an NFC title race with Detroit and Minnesota. But the 49ers beat them at midseason 26-10 to drop the Pack two games back and they continued to sink ever afterward, going just 2-4 the rest of the way and costing head coach Phil Bengtson his job.

A bright moment of the nearly two decades of mediocrity that passed between the 1960's and 1990's was Green Bay's 21-17 upset of the then Super Bowl champion 49ers in San Francisco in 1989. These were the dynasty Niners of coach Bill Walsh, qb Joe Montana, Jerry Rice, Roger Craig, etc. The Packers were one of only two teams to post a win over San Francisco that year, as they won their second straight Super Bowl 55-10 over Denver and fourth of the Walsh/Montana era.

Of course, the rivalry between the franchises heated up in the 1990's. The Packers hired Niners' offensive coordinator Mike Holmgen as head coach in 1992 and the Packers began to rise as the Niners were still dominating under coach George Seifert and qb Steve Young and battling Dallas for top honors in the league.

In the 1995 playoffs the Packers went to San Francisco and pulled a bold upset on the then defending Super Bowl champion Niners, who were heavy favorites and presumptive Super Bowl repeaters. It was followed by another playoff victory at Lambeau in 1996 35-14 and a win in the 1997 NFC Championship at San Francisco 23-10. The Packers also posted regular season wins in '96 23-20 and in 1998 36-22 for a 5 game win streak over the team by the Bay.

If the officials had made the correct call on the Jerry Rice fumble or instant replay been in use in the 1998 Wild Card playoff on the Coast the Packers would have extended their streak to 6 and 4 in the playoffs and maybe gone on to a NFC record third straight Super Bowl trip.

A 2001 playoff win at Lambeau gave the Packers a 4-1 all-time lead over the 49ers in postseason competition. But San Francisco has since flipped that with a pair of wins in the 2012 and 2013 playoffs and two wins in season openers in 2012 and 2013.

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