Can Jordan Love do what Aaron Rodgers never accomplished?

Can Jordan Love do what Aaron Rodgers never accomplished?

49ers question: Can Jordan Love do what Aaron Rodgers never accomplished versus 49ers?

Packers QB Jordan Love can do what Aaron Rodgers never achieved vs. 49ers? Is the question on the mind of everyone.

Former Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers accomplished plenty during his 18-year stint with the franchise—from winning four MVPs to breaking Brett Favre’s team passing touchdowns record to, of course, bringing the Lombardi Trophy back home.

But beating his hometown 49ers in the playoffs? That he couldn’t do.

The California-born quarterback went 0-4 against the 49ers in the postseason with the Packers, the most playoff losses by a signal-caller against one franchise in NFL history.

Now, it’s Jordan Love’s turn. The 25-year-old, in his first year as a starter now that Green Bay is in the post-Rodgers era, just led the Packers to a 48-32 upset road win against the No. 2 seed Dallas Cowboys during Wild Card Weekend. Another road challenge awaits in the Divisional Round in the form of an opponent Cheeseheads know all too well, the top-seeded 49ers. And Love will have a chance to do what Rodgers never could—beat San Francisco in the postseason.

“They’re a very talented team,” Love said of the 49ers after a 272-yard, three-touchdown performance against the Cowboys in his first playoff start. “It’s all about how we get back to work this week, getting in the film room and seeing what they’re about and getting back to work. They’re a really good team so we gotta get our bodies back and get back to it.”

Record-setting 10th all-time playoff.

San Francisco, coming off a first-round playoff bye, hosts Green Bay at 8:15 p.m. ET on Saturday in what will be a record-setting 10th all-time playoff matchup between the two franchises.

The 49ers hold a 5-4 playoff advantage, and each game played in the series has occurred in the last 30 years. The Packers won the first three playoff matchups, which came in back-to-back-to-back postseasons after the 1995, 1996, and 1997 campaigns, and four of the first five. Hall of Fame quarterback Steve Young hit Terrell Owens for “The Catch II” to secure San Francisco’s only playoff breakthrough over Green Bay in that stretch. The Packers bounced back three seasons later with a Wild Card win over the 49ers after the 2001 season.

There have been plenty of positive memories in the series of late for the Niners.

San Francisco eliminated the Rodgers-led Packers in the 2012, 2013, 2019, and 2021 postseasons. Two of those games were played in Lambeau, and two were in San Fran. Twice Green Bay lost to the Niners in the Divisional Round, with one loss each also coming in a Wild Card Meeting and in the NFC Championship Game.

Packers losses in those contests ranged from near-misses (twice Green Bay lost by three points on game-winning field goals) to double-digit blowouts (the other two defeats were by a combined 31 points). The 49ers will take either this weekend.

“It’s always fun,” 49ers fullback Kyle Juszczyk said, via the Associated Press. “Green Bay’s just such a storied franchise. That rivalry of San Francisco and Green Bay is always a big one. Honestly, one of my best memories as a Niner was that NFC championship game here against the Packers and just in warmups, just feeling that energy. It was nothing I had ever felt here before. It was just such an exciting time, and hopefully we feel that again this week.”

The first No. 7 seed to win a playoff game.

Love’s breakout first season as a starter saw the former first-round pick finish seventh in the NFL in passing yards (4,159) and second in passing touchdowns (32). The Packers secured the final NFC Wild Card spot with a 9-8 record. And then they became the first No. 7 seed to win a playoff game since the postseason expanded to 14 teams in 2020.

The last time these teams played each other in the playoffs—when Love was a second-year backup in 2021—the sixth-seeded 49ers were coming off an upset win over the Cowboys, then upended the top-seed Packers, 13-10, on the road to advance to the NFC Championship Game.

Time to see if the roles will be reversed in the latest edition of this playoff rivalry.

“We know we’re going against one of the elite teams in the National Football League, certainly the class of the NFC,” Packers coach Matt LaFleur said earlier this week. “They’ve got a lot of the same players they’ve had for a few years now, and they’ve added some other freak shows over there. We know it’s a great challenge, but it’s a great opportunity, as well.”

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