New chapter coming in 49ers-Packers playoff history

New chapter coming in 49ers-Packers playoff history
January 6, 2013, 8:45 am
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When the third-seeded Green Bay Packers visit Candlestick Park on Saturday to face the No. 2 seed 49ers, it'll be their sixth postseason meeting.

But it'll be the first time Chico native Aaron Rodgers has played in San Francisco in his career. And it'll be the first playoff appearance for Colin Kaepernick.

The past has consisted of Brett Favre, Steve Young, Elvis Grbac and Jeff Garcia.

The Packers own a 4-1 head-to-head record against the 49ers in the postseason. Here's a brief look at those previous affairs:

January 6, 1996: Packers 27, 49ers 17
Candlestick Park, NFC Divisional round
Just say the Adam Walker Game, and everyone will know what you're talking about. The 49ers had a whole bunch of injuries at the fullback position, including a season-ending knee injury to William Floyd.

Walker, despite a broken thumb, had to play. Not only did he play, but on the 49ers' first play of the game, Steve Young through a swing pass to Walker, who caught the ball but fumbled. Packers cornerback Craig Newsome scooped it up and returned it 31 yards for a touchdown.

Some young quarterback named Favre (pronunciation unknown at that point), threw two touchdown passes in the first half as Green Bay built a 21-3 lead and never was in danger.

The 49ers did not have any running game that season, as Ricky Watters signed with the Philadelphia Eagles after the Super Bowl season a year earlier. Young completed 32 passes in an NFL postseason-record 65 attempts for 328 yards with no touchdowns and two interceptions.

Green Bay lost the next week to the eventual-Super Bowl champion Dallas Cowboys in the NFC Championship Game.

January 4, 1997: Packers 35, 49ers 14
Lambeau Field, NFC Divisional round
Young sustained broken and displaced ribs the previous week while scoring a rushing touchdown against the Philadelphia Eagles. He was shot up numerous times before the game, which enabled him to take the field with the starters. Young played the first nine snaps before it was determined he simply could not go on.

By that time, Desmond Howard had already given the Packers a 7-0 lead when he returned Tommy Thompson's punt 71 yards for a touchdown. Green Bay led 21-0 in the first half. The 49ers cut the deficit to 21-14, but the Packers ran the ball down the 49ers' throats to gain a two-touchdown lead.

The game was played in a driving rain with temperatures of 34 degrees with 9 degrees windchill. Afterward, many 49ers players were shivering in the locker room as they spoke with reporters.

It was the final game of George Seifert's 49ers coaching career, as he was out and Steve Mariucci was in.

The Packers went on to win Super Bowl XXXI over the New England Patriots in New Orleans.

January 11, 1998: Packers 23, 49ers 10
Candlestick Park, NFC Championship
The 49ers were without Jerry Rice, who sustained a fractured kneecap late in the regular season as he returned from surgery after sustaining a torn ACL in Week 1. Terrell Owens had a few drops on a windy, rainy day at Candlestick but still managed six receptions for 100 yards.

Terry Kirby was the 49ers' leading rusher with just 21 yards on six carries, while Garrison Hearst had eight carries for 12 yards.

The turning point of the game occurred on the opening play of the second half. With the 49ers trailing 13-3, Packers fullback William Henderson caught a pass in the right flat and was immediately hit by linebacker Lee Woodall. Gary Plummer scooped it up and ran it into the end zone for an apparent touchdown.

However, the pass was ruled incomplete. And the 49ers never were really in the game, eventually trailing 23-3 before Chuck Levy returned a kickoff 95 yards for a fourth-quarter touchdown.

The Packers went on to lose to the Denver Broncos in Super Bowl XXXII in San Diego.

January 3, 1999: 49ers 30, Packers 27
Candlestick Park, NFC Wild-Card round
"Owens! Owens! Owens!"

That was the call of 49ers radio play-by-play man Joe Starkey, as Young and Owens hooked up for a dramatic last-second touchdown.

The late Bobb McKittrick, the long-time 49ers offensive line coach, called it the best pass of Young's Hall of Fame career. Young stumbled on the chewed-up turf as he dropped back to throw, then unloaded a beautiful pass that Owens caught before being sandwiched by two Packers defenders.

The 25-yard touchdown came with three seconds remaining to provide the winning points in a 30-27 victory. The next week, Hearst sustained a broken ankle on his first carry of the game, and the 49ers lost 20-18 to the Atlanta Falcons in the divisional round.

January 13, 2002: Packers 25, 49ers 15
Lambeau Field, NFC Wild-Card round
Hmmm, why don't I remember much about this game? (Help me out if something sticks out in your mind about this game.)

Jeff Garcia was the quarterback -- I do know that. And the 49ers actually led 7-6 at halftime. Garcia hit Tai Streets on a touchdown pass and a two-point conversion in the fourth quarter to tie the game at 15-15.

OK, it's starting to come back to me. With the 49ers down 18-15 with about five minutes remaining, Garcia tried to hit Owens deep down the right sideline. But the ball was tipped and intercepted at the Packers' 7-yard line. Green Bay put together the game-clinching drive to extend the lead to 10 points.

Green Bay went on to get smoked, 45-17, by the St. Louis Rams the next week in the NFC Championship Game.

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