All Packers fans are aware that the team’s biggest traditional rivals come within their division. The Packers have been in the same division with the Vikings, Lions and Bears for more than 50 years now and that means these four teams battle for playoff berths while playing each other twice a year. These matchups have it all, intensity, tradition, pride and a lot is at stake when the Pack faces off against those three teams.
But who are the Packers biggest non-division rivals right now? Unlike the division rivalries, these tend to change over time. In the early 1960s, the New York Giants were a big rival for the Packers as Vince Lombardi used to be an assistant there and the Packers met the Giants in the NFL Championship Game in both 1961 and 1962.
In the 1990s, the Packers biggest rivals were the 49ers and the Cowboys as those three teams often battled for supremacy in the NFC.
But who are the Packers biggest non-division rivals right now? Here is a look at the top three out of division rivals. Feel free to comment if you have a team that you feel belongs on this list:
- Seattle Seahawks
The Packers and Seahawks are frequent opponents in recent years and the fact that both teams have been perennial playoff teams has only added to the rivalry.
Another factor that adds flavor to the matchups between the teams is that Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson is a Wisconsin native and attended the University of Wisconsin.
The Packers and Seahawks clashed in the playoffs in 2014 and 2019 with the Packers winning the second game in Green Bay 28-23.
During the regular season, these two teams have played each other in 2012, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017 and 2018 with the teams splitting those six regular season games.
The Green Bay and Seattle renew their rivalry this year when the Packers host the Seahawks in Week 10 at Lambeau Field.
- San Francisco 49ers
The Packers and 49ers have been linked together in many ways since 1992 when the Pack hired former 49ers assistant coach Mike Holmgren as their head man and started using a version of the West Coast Offense originated by Bill Walsh.
The two teams have met frequently in recent years with the Packers winning three of the last four regular-season meetings in 2015, 2018 and 2020 while San Francisco won easily in 2019 and in the NFC Championship Game that year. In fact, the 49ers have won the last three playoff meetings between the two teams in 2012, 2013 and 2019.
The 49ers were only 6-10 last year, but they were hit hard by injuries and figure to be much improved in 2021.
The Packers and 49ers renew acquaintances in Week 3 this year when the Packers travel to California to face the 49ers on Sunday Night Football.
- Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Right now, the biggest rivalry the Packers have outside of their division has to be the defending Super Bowl champion Tampa Bay Buccaneers. The fact that these two teams were division rivals from 1977-2001 adds a semblance of tradition to this matchup.
The two teams met twice last year with the Bucs winning handily 38-10 after the Packers took an early 10-0 lead.
In the NFC Championship Game, the Packers suffered a frustrating 31-26 loss that involved a terrible touchdown allowed on the final play of the first half and a controversial decision to kick a field goal down by eight points late in the fourth quarter by Packers head coach Matt LaFleur.
Prior to 2020, the Packers had won the previous three regular-season meetings between the teams including a 26-20 overtime win in 2017 when Aaron Rodgers was on injured reserve and Brett Hundley helped lead the Packers to victory.
The rivalry between Rodgers and Tom Brady adds juice to this rivalry as both future Hall of Fame quarterbacks feel they have a lot to prove when they their respective teams go head-to-head with each other.
The two all-time greats have met three times in the regular season with Brady winning two of the three and the Packers winning 26-21 at Lambeau Field back in 2014.
The Packers know if they hope to return to the Super Bowl, they will have to get past the Bucs as Tampa again figures to be a contending team in 2021.
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