Saturday’s Divisional Round game between the Green Bay Packers and San Francisco 49ers will be the latest chapter in a rivalry that has an extensive history.

The Packers and 49ers will square off in a playoff game for a tenth time. Not only are they each other’s most common postseason opponents, but the tenth matchup will set a new NFL record for playoff matchups between two opponents. What’s interesting is that for most of each team’s franchise history (which is vast in both cases), it almost seemed like they were actively avoiding each other.

When the Packers were dominating the 1960s, the 49ers were generally mediocre. By the time San Francisco won three straight NFC West titles in the early 1970s, Green Bay had fallen into a period of irrelevance (though both teams won division titles in 1972). The 1980s were a reversal of the 1960s. The 49ers dominated while the Packers were bad. Heck, the Packers’ lone playoff appearance of the 1980s came in 1982, the one season between 1981 and 1990 that the 49ers did not qualify for the playoffs.

Then came the 1990s. Both teams made the playoffs in 1993 and 1994 but avoided facing each other. In 1995, that changed; the teams met in the playoffs for the first of four consecutive seasons. Starting with the 1995 season, Green Bay and San Francisco have made the playoffs in the same year 12 seasons and avoided each other only twice.

And before looking at matchup No. 10, let’s look back to the first nine matchups and see which ones were befitting of such an iconic rivalry and which ones fell a little flat. Hint, there’s a lot of both.

9. 2019 NFC Championship: 49ers 37, Packers 20

Raheem Mostert had one of the greatest playoff performances in NFL history, finishing the day with 220 rushing yards four touchdowns, leading the 49ers to a win. Three of those touchdowns came in the first half which, along with two Robbie Gould field goals, helped the 49ers build a 27-0 halftime lead. Aaron Rodgers and the Packers saved face in the second half, at least to a degree, but never got to within 14 points.

8. 1997 NFC Championship: Packers 23, 49ers 10

A pretty similar entry to our previous one. Defensively the Packers dominated this game, making up for an offense that struggled to put the game away. With less than a minute before halftime, Brett Favre moved Green Bay down the field for a field goal, expanding the lead to 13-3. The San Francisco offense couldn’t get anything going to trim the deficit. The one touchdown the 49ers scored was a kick return that was little more than cosmetic. For a third year in a row, the Packers sent the 49ers home.

7. 1996 Divisional Round: Packers 35, 49ers 14

By margin of victory, this is the most lopsided playoff game in the rivalry’s history. But unlike our first two entries, this one at least felt like a game for a while. Green Bay punt returner Desmond Howard got the scoring going with an early punt return.

After the Packers jumped out to a 21-0 lead, the 49ers scored just before halftime. San Francisco then took advantage of a huge gaffe Green Bay gaffe. Howard was late returning to the field after halftime and did not take the field for the second-half kickoff. Nobody on the Packers noticed, which led to a loose ball, recovered by the 49ers. San Francisco took advantage of that blunder and scored to cut the lead to 21-14. But Green Bay’s dominance resumed after that.

6. 2012 Divisional Round: 49ers 45, Packers 31

The Packers stuck early in this game, with Sam Shields intercepting a Colin Kaepernick pass and taking it in for a pick-six on the opening possession. From there, though, Kaepernick was essentially flawless.

He threw for 263 yards, ran for 181 (a playoff run for a quarterback), and accounted for four touchdowns (two passing and two rushing). Green Bay stayed close for a while, but the defense had no answer for Kaepernick, and the offense couldn’t keep up for four quarters.

5. 1995 Divisional Round: Packers 27, 49ers 17

On San Francisco’s first offensive play, Steve Young threw a swing pass to Adam Walker, who was hit be linebacker Wayne Simmons and immediately fumbled. Craig Newsome picked up the loose ball and returned it for a touchdown, giving the Packers a 7-0 lead.

That set the tone, as Green Bay jumped out to a 21-0 lead early in the second quarter. While the 49ers eventually got into a small rhythm offensively, it was nowhere near enough. The Packers forced four turnovers en route to the upset victory.

4. 2001 Wild Card Round: Packers 25, 49ers 15

Leading 9-7 late in the third quarter, the Packers scored to go up 15-7. But instead of opting for a PAT to make it a nine-point game, Green Bay curiously decided to chase the points from an earlier PAT miss and went for two. It failed. San Francisco tied the game early in the fourth quarter and the Packers retook the lead with a field goal.

After moving the ball across midfield, the 49ers went deep. While Terrell Owens was open, Jeff Garcia underthrew him. Green Bay’s Mike McKenzie deflected the ball into the hands of his teammate, Tyrone Williams, for an interception.

Favre then led the Packers on a 93-yard scoring drive, which was capped off by an Ahman Green touchdown run to salt the game away.

3. 2021 NFC Divisional Round: 49ers 13, Packers 10

After scoring a touchdown on their first possession, the Packers’ offense did very little. But for most of the game, it looked like that would be enough. Trailing 10-3 in the fourth quarter, San Francisco, which had already blocked a field goal, blocked a punt deep in Green Bay territory. The ball went straight up in the air and for a while, nobody seemed to know where it was. Eventually, San Francisco’s Talanoa Hufanga located the ball, picked it up, and ran in for the tying touchdown.

After a Green Bay three-and-out, the San Francisco offense moved down the field and got a big nine-yard run from Deebo Samuel on a third down to set Robbie Gould up for a 45-yard field goal attempt. On a cold night in Green Bay, that kick was no guarantee. But Gould was up for it, splitting the uprights as time expired.

2. 2013 Wild Card Round: 49ers 23, Packers 20

The Packers defense forced the 49ers to settle for short field goals on their first two drives. At times, it looked like that would doom San Francisco, as Green Bay took an early fourth-quarter lead. The 49ers quickly, responded, though, and retook the lead on a 28-yard touchdown pass from Colin Kaepernick to Vernon Davis. Rodgers led the Packers down the field and Green Bay was poised to re-take the lead. This time, though, the 49ers defense tightened up, forcing the Packers to a short, game-tying field goal.

That opened the door for San Francisco. The 49ers moved down the field, converting a pair of critical third downs. Kaepernick found Michael Crabtree for 17 yards on a third-and-10, then ran for 11 yards himself to pick up a third-and-eight. Frank Gore then ran for three yards on a third-and-three to pick up another critical first down. That allowed the 49ers to run the rest of the clock out, with kicker Phil Dawson making a game-winning 33-yard field goal as time expired.

1. 1998 Wild Card Round: 49ers 30, Packers 27

The Packers eliminated the 49ers from the playoffs in each of the previous three seasons. They did that because they outplayed the 49ers, but also because they took advantage of critical 49ers mistakes and questionable calls. In San Francisco’s final possession, the script got completely flipped.

  • Two passes from Young to J.J. Stokes got the 49ers to midfield. On a second-and-one, the Packers pressured Young, who got rid of the ball, passing it to fullback Marc Edwards. It initially looked like Edwards would be better off dropping the ball as he was well behind the line of scrimmage. But he broke two tackles behind the line of scrimmage, then dragged a Packer defender across midfield to pick up a first down before finally being tackled.
  • Young completed a short pass to Jerry Rice, the legendary receiver’s only completion on the day. Rice was quickly met by a gang of Packer defenders, who tackled Rice and quickly argued that Rice fumbled, something television replays confirmed. Rice fumbled and it wasn’t close. But Rice was ruled down. With no review system in place (instant replay would return the following season), the call on the field stood.
  • With 12 seconds left, Young threw a pass to Stokes, who was well defended. Green Bay’s Craig Newsome got both hands on the ball, but couldn’t secure a game-winning interception.
  • On the following play, Young stumbled while dropping back. He regained his footing and fired the ball to Terrell Owens in the end zone. Owens, who had dropped four passes to that point, absorbed two hits and held onto the ball, scoring with three seconds left. It’s possible that at least some Green Bay defenders might have momentarily frozen when Young slipped. Because while Young passed the ball through a tight window, the opening was there.

Owens breaking down in tears on the sideline is what gets remembered from the play’s aftermath. What gets somewhat forgotten is that Roell Preston, Green Bay’s dangerous return man, returned the ball to the 45. Eventually, San Francisco’s kickoff team trapped him into a corner and Preston fumbled the ball out of bounds, ending the game.

If Saturday’s game is anything close to this one, it will be special.

About Michael Dixon

About Michael:
-- Writer/editor for and
-- Bay Area born and raised, currently living in the Indianapolis area.
-- Twitter:
@mfdixon1985 (personal).
@michaeldixonsports (work).
-- Email:
Send tips, corrections, comments and (respectful) disagreements to that email. Do the same with pizza recommendations, taco recommendations and Seinfeld quotes.