The Docket: 49ers Face Familiar Foe In Frigid Green Bay To Open Playoffs


Alex Smith was still the 49ers’ quarterback the last time they visited Green Bay in September 2012. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports

The San Francisco 49ers and Green Bay Packers haven’t actually played 60 times in the last couple of seasons … it just feels that way.

The 49ers and Packers renew acquaintances for the fourth time since the start of the 2012 season, however, this afternoon at Lambeau Field in Green Bay, Wis., where temperatures are expected to plummet into the double digits below zero with dangerously cold wind chills by the end of the game.

Kudos to the National Football League for deciding a night game in the upper Midwest in January was a terrific idea.

San Francisco has won all three of the teams’ meetings in the last two seasons, including a 30-22 win at Green Bay to open the 2012 season and a 45-31 victory at Candlestick Park in an NFC Divisional Playoff last January.

The teams have met six times before in the postseason, with the Packers holding a 4-2 edge. The 49ers’ only other win over Green Bay in the playoffs was the 1998 Wild Card Playoff when Terrell Owens made The Catch II between a pair of defenders for the win.

Kickoff from Lambeau Field is scheduled for 1:40 p.m. Pacific … which is only about an hour before sunset in central Wisconsin.

Here’s what else is on The Docket for Sunday:

WOMEN’S BASKETBALL: Oregon Ducks at Cal Golden Bears, noon
The Ducks last beat the Golden Bears in Berkeley on Feb. 24, 2011. Cal swept last year’s season series, including a 77-55 drubbing of Oregon at Haas Pavilion on Feb. 22. The Golden Bears are 16-14 all-time at home against the Ducks.

WOMEN’S BASKETBALL: Oregon State Beavers at Stanford Cardinal, 2 p.m.
The Cardinal will be looking for their 28th consecutive home-court win over the Beavers, who have never won at Stanford. Stanford won last year’s meeting at Maples Pavilion 74-50 and Oregon State’s last win in the series came on Jan. 11, 2001, in Corvallis.’

NBA: Golden State Warriors at Washington Wizards, 3 p.m.
The Warriors look for their fourth consecutive win over the Wizards in Washington. Then there’s the whole eight-game winning streak thing, too.

Golden State beat the Wizards at the Verizon Center on Dec. 8, 2012, by a 101-97 count, and the last time Washington beat the Warriors in D.C. was a 112-94 win on April 6, 2010.

However, Golden State is just 16-29 against the Bullets/Wizards since the franchise moved to Washington for the 1973-74 season.

NHL: San Jose Sharks at Chicago Blackhawks, 5 p.m.
The Sharks make their second foray into the United Center this season to take on the defending Stanley Cup champions. San Jose will be hoping for a better result than the 5-1 thumping it absorbed on Nov. 17.

Chicago has won the last six meetings between the teams at the United Center, with the Sharks’ last win coming on Dec. 30, 2010.

This is the second of three regular-season meetings for the Blackhawks and Sharks this season, with the final game set for Feb. 1 at the SAP Center.