Green Bay Packers 2021 opponent preview: San Francisco 49ers

Green Bay Packers, Za'Darius Smith - Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports
Green Bay Packers, Za'Darius Smith - Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports /

The Green Bay Packers and their longtime rivals, the San Francisco 49ers, meet again in 2021. And what seems to be an annual tradition, it takes place on the road.

While Green Bay did get the victory when these two teams met at Levi’s Stadium a season ago, the defeat in the NFC Championship Game the year prior hasn’t been forgotten by fans.

Matt LaFleur and Kyle Shanahan will go to battle again early in the regular season, aiming to earn an important win that could have an impact on the playoff standings later on.

Last season

The 49ers began 2020 with Super Bowl expectations having reached the big game the season prior, but they were hit with awful injury luck. Key player after key player after key player went down due to injury and San Francisco couldn’t recover.

The team started OK with four wins in the opening seven weeks of the season but they would lose seven of their final nine games, finishing a disappointing 6-10.

When is the game?

The Packers meet the 49ers early. The game, which is at Levi’s Stadium, will be played in Week 3. The date is Sunday, Sept. 26 at 7:20 p.m. It will be played on Sunday Night Football.

Offseason additions/departures

The 49ers’ biggest offseason move came on Day 1 of the draft. After trading up before the draft, they selected quarterback Trey Lance third overall.

San Francisco focused on the offensive line by selecting guard Aaron Banks in the second round, and they also signed six-time Pro Bowl center Alex Mack in free agency and re-signed star tackle Trent Williams.

Cornerback Richard Sherman remains a free agent and it’s unclear where he’ll be playing football in 2021.

Last meeting with Packers

November 6, 2020: Packers won 34-17 at Levi’s Stadium

Player to watch

Trey Lance: As this game is in Week 3, it’s possible the 49ers will begin with Jimmy Garoppolo as the starter in 2021. However, if they turn to Lance early on, he’s the player to watch.

The 49ers will be hoping Lance can be their future at quarterback and an upgrade on Garoppolo after selecting him third overall. Lance has star potential but there’s a chance the 49ers will want to give him time to develop during his rookie season.