Packers - 49ers Headline 2020 NFC Battle

The Green Bay Packers and San Francisco 49ers will pick up right where they left off in 2019.  The two teams will face each other in San Francisco in 2020 and one thing we now know is that it won't be the NFL's Thursday night opener.

The 49ers were 31-20 losers of Super Bowl LIV to the Kansas City Chiefs and, like the Packers, will now look to reload and try again next season.  After a hearty NFC championship game win over the Packers, the 9ers' code was cracked by the Chiefs and San Francisco players walked off the field as the red, yellow and white confetti fell all around them.

The lesson is that any team can be beaten.  The 49ers were the clear class of the NFC, head and shoulders above the rest of the field.  While the Packers certainly deserved a chance to advance to Miami, the resulting loss showed the size of the gap between the two teams.

The Packers are still top contenders in the NFC.  The question is, can Green Bay close that gap with the 9ers before 2020 kicks off?  There is a lot to happen between now and then.  Coaching staffs and personnel will surely change and both teams will look differently.  After two bad losses at the hands of Kyle Shanahan's team, the Packers hopefully are done leaving San Francisco looking like they didn't belong there in the first place.

One big need that has been identified for the Packers is speed and the need for more of it.  The Chiefs clearly used theirs to an advantage and it proved to be a huge equalizer on the defensive side of the ball.  When the 49ers couldn't run the ball at will, their offense struggled to control the clock and protect their lead.

With needs on both offense and defense it will be interesting, to say the least, as to how Green Bay will address them.  Will they add talent with San Francisco in mind as their biggest obstacle?  We shall see.

Regardless of how it all goes down over the next seven months, the Packers and 49ers will get another crack at each other next season and the Packers, with another Super Bowl win, can equal San Francisco with five.  The gap may be large, but as we saw in yesterday's Super Bowl, anything can happen on a given day in one game.

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Jason is a freelance writer on staff since 2012 and also co-hosts Cheesehead TV Live, Pulse of the Pack and Pack A Day podcasts.  You can follow him on Twitter here

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Comments (29)

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HankScorpio's picture

February 03, 2020 at 07:08 am

Don't count on either team being as good in 2020. Just last year, the Rams were on the cusp of a dynasty. They missed the playoffs in 2020. That kind of story is all too common. The NFL is a week to week and year to year league. As both SF and GB showed in 2020 by rebounding from missing the playoffs in 2019.

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JamesLofton's picture

February 03, 2020 at 07:43 am

Great point HankScorpio, which just highlights how good a job TT and MM did getting us the playoffs for 8 straight years.
This league ain't easy and in BG and MLF we are in safe hands for the future.
GoPackGo

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Leatherhead's picture

February 03, 2020 at 07:22 pm

You got downvoted by some alleged fans because you gave credit to Thompson and McCarthy. Sad.

Super Bowl losers rarely return the following year. I don’t know who will win the NFC, but I’d bet a dollar it’s not going to be SF.

Winning the division is where the focus should be, not closing the gap with SF.

All of our home games, and our three division road games, are more important than a game at SF.

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Crazytim87's picture

February 03, 2020 at 07:49 am

AGREED!!

GO PACK GO!!

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Handsback's picture

February 03, 2020 at 07:57 am

I thought the 49ers would win, but Mahomes was just too tough to handle. I thought the 49ers also went away from their running game too early, but I'm not a coach so we move on to next season.

Green Bay has to learn to play better on the road or at least on the west coast. Their defense was just terrible for the talent they had in that NFCC game.

Green Bay's offense will be better. Another year, and the players get more comfortable in the system should lead to bigger improvements.

A 13-3 record wasn't all done with smoke and mirrors. They have a good team and should be mentioned as contenders next year.

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Houndog's picture

February 03, 2020 at 08:15 am

Handsback,
Not exactly 'Smoke and Mirrors', but only three of the Packers 13 victories came against teams with winning records, the Vikings twice, and the Chiefs without Patrick Mahomes. They often struggled to just sneak past some pretty lousy teams in a 'win ugly' mode on the road AND at home!
Furthermore, they'll have a first place schedule next year, and it will be much tougher than what they saw this past season.
Saying they'll be contenders is great, and I'm hoping you're right, but maybe not quite as optimistic..

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CAG123's picture

February 03, 2020 at 01:47 pm

So you’re holding the Packers schedule and how teams finished against them? It’s not the Packers fault the Cowboys and Bears both fell off a cliff but on game day Green Bay faced a lot of teams that had winning records and won and were underdogs against the Bears, Cowboys and Vikes in both games.

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PeteK's picture

February 03, 2020 at 02:46 pm

Yes, and beating everyone in your division twice is very difficult to do.

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PackfanNY's picture

February 03, 2020 at 09:20 am

LOL. This is my favorite time of the NFL year. Foolish people trying to guess who are the favorites next year and then trying to guess records. Meanwhile, back in the real world, we have not yet begun the free agent process. We haven’t had the draft. We have no idea which players will be released or picked up. What about training camp injuries. None of that has happened yet. We really have little idea which teams will flop and which teams will rise.

Then we get the old tripe about next year they will have a “first place schedule”. Well you might recall that the 2018 49ers were 4-12. Remember that was suppose to be an “easy” game. I guess those with the magic crystal balls didn’t predict that the 49ers would go on to play in the Super Bowl. My guess is those are the same people that said good ole Mitch Trubisky was the best QB in the NFC North and the teddy bears were entering a new period of dominance.

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fordguy's picture

February 03, 2020 at 03:15 pm

Nobody that watches football said the 49ers game was going to be easy. If they did they would've known that the QB had a torn ACL in 2018 and that was the reason they went 4-12.

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Lphill's picture

February 03, 2020 at 09:40 am

Stop the run you beat San Fran !

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murf7777's picture

February 03, 2020 at 01:50 pm

Well KC didn’t stop the run unfortunately that was Kyle Shanahan. They averaged something like 6.9 yards a carry before he stopped running. Kyle will be questioned on his coaching in this and his OC in the Atlanta SB for years.

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mrtundra's picture

February 03, 2020 at 09:54 am

The Packers had better pick up some speed in this draft or in FA, if they want to beat SF. A speedy WR that ARod could hit on a deep route, or anywhere on the field, and another speedy DB that could cover SF's WRs, would be welcome additions to this team.

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jlc1's picture

February 03, 2020 at 10:03 am

What I saw in the SB were two teams that executed very well, not just ran fast (although they did that too). Sure tackling, sure blocking, tight coverage. It looked like the talent that was there was maximized. If GB can make more strides in executing from their positions within the game plan, they will look more like and maybe be a SB team. Go Pack Go!

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jlc1's picture

February 03, 2020 at 10:03 am

What I saw in the SB were two teams that executed very well, not just ran fast (although they did that too). Sure tackling, sure blocking, tight coverage. It looked like the talent that was there was maximized. If GB can make more strides in executing from their positions within the game plan, they will look more like and maybe be a SB team. Go Pack Go!

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jannes bjornson's picture

February 03, 2020 at 10:20 pm

And don't expect your speed guy to block. Open up the airwaves between the ears at 1265 Lombardi AVe. Reagor would be a target in round one. They should have a background in sprinting for their college track team. Hill and Wilkins put pressure on the 49rs defensive system after Andy Reid set them up with routes in the first half and locked in the DBs tendencies, then broke the opposite way. We all knew Sherman is susceptible to dbl moves etc. The Oline started giving Mahomes the extra time he needed to deliver the goods. Great Game.

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scullyitsme's picture

February 03, 2020 at 10:17 am

Just happy the chiefs won. I’ve always kinda considered them the packers of the afc for some reason. Also Richard Sherman’s classless comments after the nfc championship about the packers make it better. Oh yeah, and I hate shannahan’s hat.

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PeteK's picture

February 03, 2020 at 02:38 pm

Me too, for me it was because of that first SB

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Sol's picture

February 03, 2020 at 12:16 pm

I am sure we will add more speed in the off season but holy smokes Gary and Savage last years top two draft picks are like greased lighting in regards to the position they play. Really fast guys just don't grow on trees.

Help on the D line is a must we really need someone to command a double team to help Kenny Clark blossom into the player we all know he can be, we already have enough D line backups on the roster. I know it's not flashy but O line would be a nice choice to if the right player would come along. As for the rest of the off season it's like they say in the movie Top Gun " I feel the need for speed,"

I was sad to see Richard Sherman yesterday he has had a great career but for some reason he looked old and slow, I think it will end like Darrell Revis's career, very fast,

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CAG123's picture

February 03, 2020 at 01:52 pm

I agree on the DL even if the guy doesn’t warrant double teams he needs to be a respectable threat so they can’t just gang up on KC.

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jannes bjornson's picture

February 03, 2020 at 04:54 pm

Use more 4-3 looks.

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CAG123's picture

February 03, 2020 at 05:02 pm

People are getting too caught up in the 49ers def it doesn't matter what front you use what matters is the execution. Look at the Chiefs they were a 4-3 team and switched to a 3-4 only to be a marginally better defense.

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jannes bjornson's picture

February 03, 2020 at 07:49 pm

4-3 team now, they switched out of 3-4. Have to be able to show both looks like Belichick. Pettine looked a fool getting trampled on. Plug LBs in the gaps and sell out like Spags did against the 49rs in the fourth quarter. Jimmy G could not pull it off.

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CAG123's picture

February 03, 2020 at 08:24 pm

Either way the improvements aren't that great and lets not act like the Chiefs did anything to the 49ers run game I think 109 yards and 6.9 YPC says other wise. If Shanahan doesn't outsmart himself and Jimmy G doesn't miss a wide open Sanders we're singing a different tune and the Chiefs sideline pursuit was terrible the runs were there if the 49ers wanted them. No matter what front you're in you need the right personnel and proper execution.

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jannes bjornson's picture

February 04, 2020 at 02:20 pm

53 yards by Deebo on end-arounds. Spags sealed that off and the leaks off tackle with Mostert. Still need the presence of two DTs and Gary can be a DE.

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flackcatcher's picture

February 03, 2020 at 06:41 pm

Yeah, but KC speed is special. No one in the league has that combo of quickness and burst in the skill positions in offense that the Chiefs have. Made what the Packers secondary did even more amazing against them.

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Pauly's picture

February 03, 2020 at 03:44 pm

Speed alone is not the answer. We have had fast players who couldn't play. Janis 4.3, MVS 4.3, SS Jones, Clinton Dix and more.

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flackcatcher's picture

February 03, 2020 at 06:43 pm

Jury is still out on MVS.

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mrj007's picture

February 03, 2020 at 11:01 pm

Great. We get another opportunity to get destroyed by SF.....

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