Santa Claus was a few days late making the rounds in Green Bay, Wis., but Packers fans finally received the No. 1 gift on their Christmas wish list: a home playoff game against those pesky 49ers this Sunday on the frozen tundra at Lambeau Field.
Whether 49ers fans realize it, Packers fans for the past two seasons have looked at San Francisco with the same venom Niners Faithful have looked at the Seattle Seahawks.
The 49ers have been a pebble in the shoe of the Packers, a sharp pain up the Cheddar of Cheeseheads everywhere.
And now they want payback.
Payback for a 30-22 season-opening loss to the 49ers in 2012 at Lambeau, where Alex Smith outplayed reigning MVP Aaron Rodgers.
Payback for a humiliating 45-31 loss in last season’s NFC divisional playoffs, when the 49ers rolled to 579 total yards behind Colin Kaepernick, who passed for 263 yards and set records for rushing yards (181) and biceps kissed by a quarterback.
Payback for 34-28 loss to start this regular season, when a trash-talking, late-hitting Clay Matthews only fired up the 49ers at Candlestick Park.
But if you ask a true, longtime 49ers fan, this is only the beginning of San Francisco’s payback against the Packers, who have dominated this longtime rivalry. Between 1996 and 2010, Green Bay won 13 of 14 games (four in the playoffs) against San Francisco. The one 49ers win was the Catch II game in the NFC wild-card playoffs on Jan. 3, 1999.
While Rodgers was impressive in his return to help Green Bay beat Chicago and capture the NFC Central title, the 49ers have too much momentum and defense for the Packers to handle – be it at Lambeau, the ’Stick or Levi’s Stadium.
Careful for what you wish for, Packers fans. You might shoot your eye out.
Who will win Sunday’s NFC wild-card playoff?
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Which NorCal pro team has the best chance to win a title in 2014?
• A’s: 14%
• Giants: 13%
• 49ers: 55%
• Sharks: 12%
• Warriors: 6%
Total votes: 174