San Francisco is headed to Green Bay for a Saturday night playoff matchup against the Packers.
The sixth-seeded 49ers punched their ticket to Lambeau Field by holding on for a 23-17 win at third-seeded Dallas on Sunday.
It will be the second time the teams have met this season. The Packers got a 51-yard field goal from Mason Crosby as time expired for a 30-28 win in Week 3. Green Bay went on to earn the No. 1 seed and a first-round bye with a 13-4 regular season, while San Francisco went 4-1 down the stretch of the season to clinch a playoff berth. The only loss in those final five games was to Tennessee, the top seed on the AFC side of the playoffs.
The two teams have a storied playoff history having split their eight all-time meetings. The Packers won four of the first five games, including the 1997 NFC title game. But the 49ers have won the last three matchups — 2012, 2013 and 2019. Among those losses were a pair blowouts, most recently in the NFC Championship Game two years ago.
San Francisco has a couple of injuries that will bear watching this week. Two-time Pro Bowl defensive end Nick Bosa sustained a head injury against the Cowboys and is now in the concussion protocol. He led the 49ers in sacks with a career-high 15.5. The team also lost linebacker Fred Warner to an ankle injury. Coach Kyle Shanahan said Warner would undergo more testing when the team returned to San Francisco.
The Packers, on the other hand, appear to be getting healthy at just the right time. All-Pro left tackle David Bakhtiari returned to the lineup in Week 18 against Detroit after missing the first 16 games while rehabbing a torn ACL. Rookie center Josh Myers was also back from a knee injury that had sidelined him since Week 6, while right tackle Billy Turner was back at practice last week for the first time since a knee injury in early December. One of Aaron Rodgers’ favorite targets, wide receiver Randall Cobb, is also expected to be available following a month off while recovering from core muscle surgery.
On the defensive side of the ball, outside linebacker Za’Darius Smith practiced last week for the first time since having back surgery after Week 1. The team is hopeful he’ll be ready to go against the 49ers. All-Pro cornerback Jaire Alexander should also return from a shoulder injury that has kept him out since Week 4.
The only injury concerns for Green Bay are cornerback Chandon Sullivan (knee) and wide receiver Marquez Valdes-Scantling (back). Both left the Detroit game with injuries and did not practice last week. Valdes-Scantling is especially notable as the Packers have scored at least 30 points in nine of the games he played and have yet to top that mark in games he’s missed.
Weather could also play a factor. The early forecast has a low of 8 degrees Saturday night with below zero wind chills.