GREEN BAY — The Green Bay Packers kick off their 94th season Sunday, September 9th hosting the San Francisco 49ers at Lambeau Field. The Packers were 2-2 in the preseason — losing to the San Diego Chargers in the preseason opener, then the Cleveland Browns, before defeating the Cincinatti Bengals and Kansas City Chiefs.
Some statistics in advance of Sunday afternoon’s game via Packers.com are as follows:
The Packers last met the 49ers on December 5th, 2010 at Lambeau Field, where the Packers won, 34-16. QB Aaron Rodgers threw for 298 yards and three TDs with no INTs on 21-of-30 passing for a 135.1 passer rating. His touchdown passes of 57 yards to Greg Jennings and 61 yards to Donald Driver gave him two 55-yard TD passes in the same game for the first time in his career. RB James Starks’ 73 rushing yards on 18 carries were the most by a rookie Packers RB in his first game since Ralph Earhart posted 78 yards at Boston on Sept. 17, 1948.
The two quarterbacks expected to start on Sunday were the best in the league in limiting interceptions in 2011. Rodgers ranked No. 2 in the NFL in interception percentage (1.2%, six INTs in 502 attempts), while 49ers QB Alex Smith checked in at No. 1 (1.1%, five INTs in 445 attempts).
In two career starts against the 49ers, Rodgers has thrown for 642 yards and five TDs with no INTs on 53-of-75 passing (70.7 percent) for a 118.9 passer rating. In a Nov. 22, 2009, start vs. San Francisco, he threw for 274 yards in the first half, his regular-season career-high for a half.
Rodgers has thrown a TD pass in 29 straight regular-season games at Lambeau Field, a franchise record. It is also the longest current home streak by an NFL quarterback.
Jennings needs one more TD catch to hit the 50-TD reception mark for his career. He would move into sole possession of sixth place for most TD receptions by a Packer (currently tied with WR James Lofton).
Entering Sunday’s contest, Green Bay has won 17 of its last 18 regular-season games.
Sunday’s game will be the first time in franchise history that Green Bay will face a team in Week 1 that won 13 or more games the previous season.
Sunday’s game will be a matchup of the highest-scoring offense in the league in 2011 (Green Bay, 35.0 ppg) against the No. 2 scoring defense (San Francisco, 14.3 ppg) from last season.
Home openers have become near habit for the Packers, as 32 of 43 regular-season openers since the AFL-NFL merger (1970) have been in front of a home crowd.