The first matchup between the 49ers and Green Bay Packers wasn't a pretty one for those in green and yellow. The 49ers pounded the Packers from the opening kick in a 37-8 win at Levi's Stadium.
Aaron Rodgers' told Jimmy Garoppolo they'd see each other again after the humbling loss, and the Packers star was prophetic. Green Bay advanced to the NFC Championship Game on Sunday with a 28-23 win over the Seattle Seahawks and now will head West to face Garoppolo and the 49ers once again. This time with a trip to the Super Bowl on the line.
The 49ers opened as heavy favorites, but don't expect an exact repeat of Week 12. The bludgeoning showed Packers coach Matt LaFleur he has to be different.
"I talked to Matt LaFleur about that matchup," Jay Glazer said on FOX's postgame show. "He said 'last time against the 49ers they beat our butts in every area of the game. I know that going into this week, we're going to have to go, somehow find things that other teams have done successfully against the 49ers, and I've got to implement it this week."
During the 37-8 loss, Rodgers went 20-for-33 for 104 yards with one touchdown. He was sacked five times and averaged 1.7 yards per play. Running back Aaron Jones, who feasted all season, was held to 38 yards on 13 carries.
LaFleur chucking the playbook out the window and into the Wisconsin snow is exactly the right move. It's the only way they can beat a 49ers team that looked as dominant as ever during their 27-10 divisional-round win over the Minnesota Vikings on Saturday.
He'll have to dig deep to find things the Seahawks, Atlanta Falcons, New Orleans Saints, Los Angeles Rams and Arizona Cardinals did to move the ball successfully against a defense that flustered Rodgers and the Packers back in November.
Best of luck.
Programming note: NBC Sports Bay Area feeds your hunger for 49ers playoff coverage with special editions of “49ers Central” all week (8 p.m. Monday, Wednesday and Friday; 6 p.m. Tuesday and Thursday)
Also tune in at 2:30 p.m. Sunday for “49ers Pregame Live,” with Laura Britt, Jeff Garcia, Donte Whitner, Ian Williams and Grant Liffmann previewing the NFC Championship Game against the Packers. That same crew will have all the postgame reaction on “49ers Postgame Live,” starting at approximately 5:30 p.m.