Jan 17, 2024 - Sports

What to know about the 49ers vs. Packers playoff matchup

Brock Purdy (No. 13), left, of the San Francisco 49ers hands the ball off to Christian McCaffrey during the first half of the game against the Washington Commanders in December. Photo: Scott Taetsch/Getty Images

The San Francisco 49ers' first game of this year's playoffs is a rivalry renewed as the Green Bay Packers come to town for a divisional-round matchup.

What's happening: The No. 1 seed Niners will face the Packers for a record 10th time in the playoffs. San Francisco holds a 5-4 edge in the postseason.

Context: The rivalry took off in the late 1990s and has seen several Hall of Fame players on both sides from Brett Favre and Steve Young to Terrell Owens and future Hall of Famer Aaron Rodgers.

  • After losing four of the first five in the series, the 49ers have won the last four matchups (in 2013, '14, '20 and '22).

What they're saying: "The 49ers are the best team in football, and they're the best team left in the NFC, by far," write ESPN's Stephen Holder and Seth Walder.

  • The Niners averaged nearly 30 points per game during the regular season and held their opponents to under 18 points per game.

The other side: The Packers are fresh off an upset against another San Francisco rival, the Dallas Cowboys.

  • Led by running back Aaron Jones and quarterback Jordan Love, Green Bay dropped 48 points in Dallas — beating a team that was undefeated at home during the regular season.

Yes, but: "Turnovers, lucky bounces and an A-game from their defense are probably all necessary for the Packers to pull off this upset,"Holder and Walder write.

What's next: Kickoff is Saturday at 5:15pm at Levi Stadium, and weather could be a factor as rain is likely. The 49ers are 9.5 point favorites.


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