It looks like the 49ers will get another taste of how cold Green Bay can get in winter when they kick off Saturday night at Lambeau Field.
Current forecasts suggest that Saturday night weather in Wisconsin is expected to be in the single digits for most of the game, with winds between 5-10 mph and about a 10 percent chance of rain. The Ice Bowl in Green Bay is unlikely to reach freezing levels (temperatures around -15, wind chill -46, according to a new National Weather Service measurement), but you probably won’t find anyone wearing shorts.
Things could always change meteorologically, but it’s clear that this will be one of the coldest games in San Francisco 49ers history—even if not out of the ordinary for the Packers, who have played at least half a dozen games in singles. Has hosted – points or negative temperatures before. But there’s a funny thing about Bay Area residents that are used to our moderate year-round weather: No matter how far north in the 49ers’ history they went to play in the cold, they had a chance of being victorious. Have found a way, albeit a bit frozen.
Here’s a look at the three coldest (and one extra) playoff games in 49ers’ history (the year is the NFL season in which the game was played):
1970 NFC Divisional Round: 49ers 17, Vikings 14 in Bloomington, Minnesota
The debut of the Game of the Week video, which is still on YouTube, immediately kicked off the season at home. “In Minnesota, it was known as a perfect day for football: clear, crisp and a pleasant 8 degrees above zero. What the doctor didn’t order for the Vikings foe from San Francisco’s Balmy Bay. NFL- In the first year after the AFL merger and aligning into two conferences and three divisions, the NFC had the top two teams, but playoff matchups were predetermined during this time, so the 10-3-1 49ers had to go to the 12-2 Vikings. while the Cowboys hosted the Lions, both with 10-4 records. The weather certainly affected each team’s grip on the ball, with a combined eight fumbles. But quarterback John Brody was able to find aerial success even in the cold. was able, completed 16 of 32 passes for 201 yards and a touchdown. He also ran into a touchdown with a 1:20 to push the 49ers up 17-7. The Vikings got down as quickly and with a touchdown. tackled, but with only a second left, sending Dick Nolan’s underdog 49ers back to San Francisco with a win. But the NFC Championship was in the 1970s. It would be the first of three straight playoff defeats for the Cowboys, a 17–10 loss in the final game of the 49ers at Keizer Stadium.
1981 Super Bowl XVI*: 49ers 26, Bengals 21 at Pontiac, Michigan
So we’re cheating on this a bit, because the actual game for the 49ers’ first Super Bowl win was played inside the Pontiac Silverdome. But the weather outside the stadium was absolutely pathetic and even the 49ers were affected, so we are including it here. The temperature outside was around 13, but froze around -21 on the snow-covered ground with icy rain and gusts of wind. Traffic to the Silverdome was a nightmare, and the unexpected arrival of Vice President George H.W. Bush made it worse. In fact, the 49ers bus that brought head coach Bill Walsh, quarterback Joe Montana and others was stuck in traffic and didn’t arrive until 90 minutes before kickoff. But as Montana recently elaborated on his Peacock series, Walsh kept spirits loose, joking that the 49ers already had it thanks to team crews scoring touchdowns. Once they got there and took the field, the season and delays didn’t matter, as San Francisco took a 20–0 lead and captured their first Super Bowl title.
1988 NFC Championship49ers: 28, 3 Bears in Chicago
This is easily one of the most insane back-to-back season games in NFL history. The Bears won “The Fog Bowl” against the Eagles, where the Bears scored two touchdowns before thick fog rolled over Soldier Field and made visibility nearly impossible. Meanwhile, the 49ers dispatched the Vikings to set up a matchup in Chicago between the two giants of the 1980s. Once there, the temperature was “only” 17 degrees, but gusts of 30 mph made the wind a cold -26, leaving everyone hoping for another 49ers road playoff loss. Instead, they dominated both sides of the ball as Montana hit Jerry Rice for two touchdowns in the first half, the 49ers defense closed the Bears and San Francisco won its first road playoff game since Minnesota in 1970. I can’t imagine any team being more excited to travel to Miami for Super Bowl XXIII than the 49ers, who hit Montana’s “John Candy” drive from behind. Willie, who will have 34 seconds left to hit John Taylor in the endzone. Send the Bengals 20-16 and Bill Walsh into retirement as a champion.
2013 NFC Wild-Card Round: 49ers 23, Packers 20 at Green Bay
The 49ers were actually one of the best teams in the NFL this year, but so was NFC West rival Seattle. The Seahawks finished 13-3, a game ahead of the 49ers, meaning San Francisco would have to move to Green Bay to face the NFC North champion Packers 8-7-1. With game-time temperatures at 5 around kickoff at Lambeau, the 49ers and Packers fought hard, and a late Mason Crosby field goal tied the game with 5:06 to 20. But under the leadership of Colin Kaepernick and Frank Gore, the 49ers went game-sealing on a 14-play, 65-yard drive to end the clock remaining and game-ending Phil Dawson set up a 33-yard field goal. Kaepernick shone again, threw 227 yards (125 of them for Michael Crabtree) and ran for 98 on just seven carries. Phil Dawson scored all five of his kicks that day (two extra points, three field goals). The 49ers would follow the game with another road win over the Panthers before falling to the Seahawks in the NFC Championship.