Aaron Rodgers isn’t sure if the Green Bay Packers will see the San Francisco 49ers again in the playoffs, but the star quarterback has reassured fans his team will be ready for them if a rematch is in the cards.
Rodgers, who participated Monday night in an ‘Ask Me Anything’ session on Reddit, was asked what he thought the most challenge things about facing the Niners along with what the team would need to do in order to beat them next time. It was one of the more serious questions in what turned out to be an insightful and entertaining AMA for one of the league’s top players.
“They’re a great team, well coached, really tough front on defense, can’t have the negative yardage plays that we had the first time,” Rodgers responded in the thread. “We will be ready if we see them again.”
The Packers (10-3) could very well get their second shot at the Niners (11-2) with both teams once again occupying the top two playoff seeds in the NFC, but the concerns about how the Packers would handle such a rematch are valid after their last meeting ending in a 37-8 rout on the road with Rodgers struggling to jumpstart the offense.
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What Needs to Happen for a Packers-Niners Rematch
The Niners inadvertently helped the Packers’ cause when they beat the New Orleans Saints and bumped them down to the No. 3 seed in the NFC, allowing Green Bay to control their own postseason destiny with a win-out scenario guaranteeing them a first-round bye.
That said, the Packers have a difficult final stretch to the regular season with a game against each of their NFC North rivals, including road games against Minnesota and Detroit. They beat all three of them within the first six weeks of the season but won each contest by no more than seven points, winning 10-3 in the season opener against Chicago for their largest margin.
The Packers can clinch a playoff berth in Week 15 with a home win over the Bears (7-6) and a Dallas Cowboys win over the Los Angeles Rams (8-5), the only team outside the division that can still knock them out of the postseason. But fighting their way back to the Niners will take more than just wins in the regular season.
Should they win out and the current scenario hold — with San Francisco at No. 1 and Green Bay at No. 2 — the Packers would have to win in the divisional round and see the Niners do the same on the other side of the bracket to book a rematch at Levi’s Stadium in California in the NFC championship game. Facing the top-seeded Niners in their own territory could also be achieved if the Packers get knocked down to the No. 3 seed, but it would mean having to win a wild-card game first.
A rematch is also possible inside the friendly confines of Lambeau Field, should the Seattle Seahawks undermine the Niners in the NFC West and bump them into the wild-card spot. While not a true rematch in the sense of venue, it would present more favorable conditions for the Packers with a week of rest and their home crowd to depend on.