On Now
Coming Up
  • Sun., Dec. 21, 2014 12:00 PM - 3:00 PM CST Packers at Tampa Bay Buccaneers Packers at Tampa Bay Buccaneers
  • Mon., Dec. 22, 2014 6:00 PM - 7:00 PM CST Lacy, Clinton-Dix appearance Packers Eddie Lacy and Ha Ha Clinton-Dix are scheduled to appear at the Big Red Kettle at Bay Park Square Mall on behalf of the Salvation Army bell-ringing campaign.
  • Sat., Dec. 27, 2014 2:30 PM - 4:00 PM CST Alumni Appearance (Flanagan, Rivera) Mike Flanagan and Marco Rivera are scheduled to appear at the Packers Pro Shop on Saturday, December 27th, from 2:30-4 p.m.
  • Sun., Dec. 28, 2014 10:30 AM - 11:30 AM CST Alumni Appearance (Flanagan, Rivera)

    TTZ: Mike Flanagan
    Club Level: Marco Rivera

  • Sun., Dec. 28, 2014 12:00 PM - 3:00 PM CST Packers vs. Detroit Lions Packers vs. Detroit Lions
  • Sat., Jun. 20, 2015 12:00 PM CDT Kenny Chesney/Jason Aldean concert Jason Aldean and Kenny Chesney have announced that their tours, The Burn It Down Tour and The Big Revival Tour presented by Corona Light, will collide for 10 stadium shows next summer, including Lambeau Field on Saturday, June 20, 2015.  More on-sale information and special guests will be revealed over the coming weeks.

News

Print
RSS

One last look: Script is flipped in historic Packers-49ers rivalry

Posted Jan 3, 2014

15 years after Terrell Owens, it’s Green Bay looking for payback

GREEN BAY—Come Sunday, it will have been 15 years and two days since Terrell Owens dramatically won an NFC wild-card playoff game for the 49ers against the Packers and cathartically removed San Francisco from its subservience to Green Bay over the previous three years.

Well, the script is flipped now, and it’s the Packers looking to turn the tables against a 49ers team that has beaten Green Bay three times in the last 16 months, including in the playoffs a year ago.

The Packers in the locker room this week may have been downplaying the payback angle, but three consecutive losses to the same team sticks with any player in some form or fashion.

“It’s not like a redemption thing or we’re going to take back what they took from us,” linebacker A.J. Hawk said. “They’ve beat us. They can say whatever they want. They kind of have the crown over us. The good thing is Sunday is a new day for everybody.”

Back in the mid-1990s, this rivalry was even more one-sided in favor of the Packers. Green Bay’s upset of defending Super Bowl champion San Francisco in the 1995 NFC divisional round at Candlestick Park was the seminal game in the Packers’ renaissance.

What followed were a dramatic Monday night overtime win plus a divisional playoff victory in the rain and mud, both in 1996 at Lambeau Field; a ’97 NFC title triumph at Candlestick to send the Packers to their second straight Super Bowl; and a ’98 regular-season win in Green Bay that made it five straight for the Packers over the 49ers – three in the postseason – heading into the ’98 playoffs in San Francisco.

The Packers were on the verge of a sixth consecutive win, with the 49ers on the Green Bay 25-yard line and trailing 27-23 with eight seconds left. Steve Young’s stumble and subsequent pinpoint throw between multiple defenders got T.O. pinballed at the goal line with three ticks remaining but transplanted him instantly into NFL playoff lore.

There’s been nothing as theatrical as T.O.’s catch in the current series of Packers-49ers clashes, but Sunday will mark just the second postseason meeting, and the weather alone could make this one another classic.

In San Francisco’s three straight wins over Green Bay, the 49ers have been the better team, but Green Bay has had its chances. In the 2012 opener, the Packers trailed by eight points with the ball twice in the fourth quarter, but an interception with 8:50 left and turnover on downs near midfield in the final minute clinched the 49ers’ 30-22 win.

Last year’s playoff game is best remembered for San Francisco’s 579 yards of total offense, but the score was tied, 24-24, midway through the third quarter. In this year’s opener, the Packers rallied for a 28-24 lead in the fourth quarter, only to let it slip away in a six-point loss.

“I try not to think about that too much,” receiver James Jones said of the past. “They beat us last time. We just have to go out there and find a way to win. I ain’t holding no grudges or nothing. We’re in the playoffs, they’re in the playoffs, it’s zero-zero.”

Interestingly, the last-second drama that’s now 15-year-old history proved only a temporary reprieve for the 49ers. Not only did they lose the following week, by just two points at Atlanta in the divisional round, they went on to drop eight more in a row to the Packers from 1999 through 2010, including another wild-card playoff game 12 years ago.

Last year’s opener broke that run and now the onus falls on the Packers to stop this in its tracks.

“I feel like we owe it to ourselves and our fans and the people that support us to win this game at home,” defensive lineman B.J. Raji said. “The past, you can learn from it, but that really has no telling on what’s going to happen Sunday.”

Given what’s at stake, and how fate nodded at the Packers in providing them a shot at the NFC North crown with a 7-7-1 record and one game left, and how one of the most memorable plays in the 188 Packers-Bears installments afforded the Packers this chance … would it be worth sacrificing what the 49ers did in this rivalry for 12 years after T.O.’s catch for the Packers to somehow, some way, keep this seemingly fateful season alive?

Maybe it won’t take a deal with the devil, but if Sunday’s game comes down to the last eight seconds, it might be tough not to at least think about it.

Additional coverage - Jan. 3

 
blog comments powered by Disqus

You May Also Be Interested in...

Recent Videos

  • Final Thoughts: Packers at Buccaneers

    (3:08) Posted 4 hours ago

    Packers.com's Vic Ketchman and Mike Spofford preview the Green Bay Packers' Sunday matchup against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Vic and Mike talk about what's at stake, players to watch, and ways the Packers can win.

  • Trailer: Packers at Buccaneers

    (2:27) Posted Dec 19, 2014

    The Green Bay Packers head to Tampa to take on the Buccaneers in Week 16, following a loss to the Buffalo Bills in Week 15.

  • Playbook: Green Bay Packers vs. Buccaneers

    (2:23) Posted Dec 19, 2014

    The "Playbook" crew talks about Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers and his struggles in Tampa Bay.