The 49ers host the Green Bay Packers for "Sunday Night Football" in a must-watch showdown this weekend. As obvious as the term "must-win" is, quarterback Aaron Rodgers realizes it's an imperative game.
"The way I look at it, we've got to beat them once at their place at some point," Rodgers said to ESPN's Rob Demovsky on Wednesday. "It would be nice to do it now."
Rodgers is 4-2 in his career against the 49ers and naturally, with the way any team plays at home, that could prove a major advantage for San Francisco. The team has noticed a shift in energy at Levi's Stadium this season that Kyle Juszczyk recently shouted out, so Rodgers needs to bring his A-game in a tough environment.
That's exactly what he plans on doing.
"We're all aware of where we're at in the seeding going into Week 12 and what's in front of us and the opportunities," Rodgers said. "There's still a lot of football to be played and a lot can happen. I think you're just in denial if you don't think about the implications with a 'Dub' or an 'L' this week and how that affects stuff down the line. That's why I said, the way we look at it, we're going to have to win there one time the rest of the year.
"It would be nice to get it done this week."
A loss for the 8-2 Packers would result in falling two games behind the 49ers in the NFC playoff standings which creates a rough domino effect. Plus, Rodgers would like to get this W out of the way so he doesn't have to do it in a possible playoff game.
But for now, the 49ers will take advantage of the shift in time of the Sunday evening kickoff. The game originally was supposed to start in the afternoon, but the four-hour time change will give more rest to tight end George Kittle and wide receiver Emmanuel Sanders.
Kittle is improving from knee and ankle injuries after missing two consecutive games.
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Coach Kyle Shanahan said Kittle's status will "come down to the wire again."
Those few extra hours will just be more of a safety net to hopefully get one of their top offensive powerhouses on the field again.