This year's NFC Championship Game is a rematch of one of the regular season's more anticipated primetime billings. The San Francisco 49ers decimated the visiting Green Bay Packers by a score of 37-8 during Week 12's edition of Sunday Night Football, but that shouldn't have any bearings on this weekend's game to determine who goes to the Super Bowl.
Here are three reasons why that regular season meeting means nothing now.
3. Bryan Bulaga Left That Game With an Injury
Bulaga left the Week 12 matchup with a knee injury in the first quarter before the Packers' offensive line imploded to concede five sacks. With their cornerstone tackle back on the field this weekend, Green Bay should fare better against the stout San Francisco pass rush. There's probably not a single opponent that could handle this front seven without one of their star tackles.
2. Packers Are Playing Their Best Football Right Now
Green Bay rattled off four straight wins following its first loss of the season and hasn't dropped a game since falling at San Francisco. The Packers quietly finished the season 13-3 and locked up a first-round bye, having held their opponents to 20 points or fewer in their final five games. With its defense in check, Green Bay should have an easier time slowing down Jimmy Garoppolo and the San Francisco offense.
1. Aaron Rodgers Hadn't Thrown Under 105 Pass Yards Since Week 8 of 2015
Think this will happen again? Rodgers threw for 104 yards in the loss, which was miserable. His next worst performance (not counting games he left with an injury) came in Week 8 of 2015 on the road against the Denver Broncos (he passed for 77 yards). Now, this time, the Packers' aging franchise quarterback is playing for a spot in the Super Bowl on championship Sunday for the first time since the 2016 season. Rodgers came up short in his two most recent NFC Championship tries, but now has nothing more on his mind than a second chance to win a title. Rodgers has thrown just two interceptions since the loss to San Francisco and has found a nice balance with running back Aaron Jones.