Packers Coach Matt LaFleur, however, isn’t dwelling on the past. “I think both teams have come a long way since then,” he told NFL.com. “You certainly take a look at it, try to take bits and pieces from it, but there’s a lot of tape on them and we know what we have to do. It’s going to be a great challenge.”
San Francisco’s head coach expressed similar sentiments, cautioning his team not to underestimate the Packers in Sunday’s NFC championship game.
“We know it will be different,” Kyle Shanahan said, via ESPN. “We know that game got away from them early, and that’s definitely not the team we’re going to see this week. Everyone knows how good Green Bay is, how good their coaching staff is, how good their players are, how good their quarterback is.
“I don’t think they’ve lost a game since then, so I think that game really holds zero relevance to what’s going to happen this Sunday.”
Forgive me, Coach, but that’s not entirely true. There have been 898 games since 2002, the first year the league expanded to 32 teams and realigned into eight divisions with four teams each, in which one team defeated the other by 20 points or more during the regular season. Those teams met 25 times in the playoffs, and the winning team from the regular season sports a 20-5 record in the postseason rematch.
The last time the team that was blown out turned the tables was in the 2014 sesaon, when the Baltimore Ravens avenged a 20-point loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers in the opening round of the playoffs. The last time a team evened the score in a conference championship game was the 2008 season. The Arizona Cardinals beat the Philadelphia Eagles, 32-25, that year after losing to them, 48-20, in Week 13 of the regular season.