Aaron Rodgers leads the Green Bay Packers into a Week 9 matchup against the San Francisco 49ers, which has been moved to Monday because of COVID-19 concerns.
That’s going to bring out a career-long narrative involving the future Hall of Fame quarterback. Rodgers is a Chico, Calif., native who grew up rooting for the 49ers, and several of the key narratives about his NFL career with Green Bay have involved San Francisco.
Those moments come full circle when the Rodgers-led Packers play the 49ers in Week 9:
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49ers snubbed Rodgers in 2005 NFL Draft
Rodgers could have been the No. 1 pick in the 2005 NFL Draft, but San Francisco chose Utah’s Alex Smith, instead.
That led to a long wait in the green room for Rodgers, who was the second quarterback taken with the No. 24 pick. Washington took Jason Campbell with the No. 25 pick to round out the first-round quarterbacks.
Rodgers took that draft snub as a slight. When asked about whether he was disappointed about that the 49ers didn’t draft him, Rodgers provided a response that is sure to get replayed a few times Monday.
“Not as disappointed as the 49ers will be that they didn’t draft me.”
Rodgers’ feud with former Packers coach Mike McCarthy involved 49ers
Mike McCarthy was the offensive coordinator of the 49ers in 2005, and he became the Packers coach in 2006. But Rodgers never forgot about San Francisco’s decision to draft Smith, a decision to which McCarthy contributed, even after Smith moved on to play for the Chiefs.
Take this example from Business Insider ahead of the 2015 season.
“We play Kansas City in Week 3,” McCarthy said. “We won’t make it through the first half of that week without him saying something. I’m certain.”
Rodgers and McCarthy had a deteriorating relationship at that point, and McCarthy was fired during the 2018 season. He is now the coach of the Cowboys.
Rodgers has a losing record against 49ers
Including three postseason matchups, Rodgers has a 4-6 record against San Francisco.
Two of those games included Smith when he played for San Francisco. Green Bay won the first meeting with Rodgers as its starter 30-24 on Nov. 22, 2009 at Lambeau Field, but Smith returned the favor in a 30-22 victory in the same place on Sept. 9, 2012.
Rodgers and the Packers lost to the 49ers in the playoffs in back-to-back years following the 2012 and 2013 seasons, with both defeats coming at the hands of the quarterback-coach combination of Jim Harbaugh and Colin Kaepernick. Green Bay lost 45-31 at San Francisco in the 2012-13 divisional and 23-20 at Lambeau Field in the 2013-14 wild-card round.
Rodgers was 0-3 against Harbaugh-coached 49ers teams.
Last year, Green Bay lost the NFC championship game 37-20 at San Francisco. The 49ers lost Super Bowl LIV to the Kansas City Chiefs.
He also is just 1-4 in four career starts at Levi’s Stadium, with his only victory being a 17-3 win on Oct. 4, 2015.
49ers routed Rodgers twice last season
San Francisco and Green Bay met on Nov. 24 in a much-anticipated “Sunday Night Football” matchup. The 49ers were 9-1, and the Packers were 8-2.
It did not go well for Green Bay. San Francisco jumped out to a 23-0 halftime lead in a 37-8 blowout. Rodgers finished 20-of-33 passing for 104 yards and a TD, the second-lowest yardage total of his career in a start he didn’t leave because of injury.
The NFC championship game wasn’t much better. The 49ers led 27-0 at halftime and rushed for 285 yards in a 37-20 blowout. Rodgers finished 31 of 39 for 326 yards, two TDs and two interceptions in the loss.
Brett Favre had more success against 49ers
Everything Rodgers does in Green Bay gets compared to his predecessor Brett Favre, who was 11-1 against the 49ers while with the Packers (and 12-2 against them overall).
Favre tormented San Francisco with a 4-1 record in the postseason; his only loss came on Steve Young’s game-winning TD pass to Terrell Owens in the 30-27 thriller in the 1998-99 NFC wild-card game.
The Packers reached the Super Bowl twice with Favre, and they beat the 49ers in both of those playoff runs.
Rodgers has Packers back in playoff mix
Favre played in the NFC championship game four times in Green Bay, and he had a 2-2 record in those games. One of those victories was a 23-10 win against San Francisco in the 1997-98 NFC championship game. That is the only conference championship meeting between the franchises. Rodgers is 1-3 in NFC championship games, and all four have been on the road.
The Packers (5-2) are in the NFC playoff race, and a win against San Francisco (4-4) would keep them in the mix for home-field advantage. That might get Rodgers closer to a shot at what Favre never won — a second Super Bowl ring.
In an unpredictable 2020 season, the 49ers are the next step on that path.