The San Francisco 49ers dominated the Packers, winning 37-20 in the NFC Championship game to punch their ticket to Super Bowl LIV against the Chiefs.
The San Francisco 49ers had beaten the Packers back in Week 12, 37-8, without defensive end Dee Ford and linebacker Kwon Alexander. It was a template for what the NFC Championship game could look like.
However, the Packers went undefeated from then on, prompting many to believe that the NFC Championship Game could be very different.
They were wrong.
The Niners thoroughly outplayed the Packers in the first half, and they held on for dear life in the second half to eventually pull away and win, cementing their spot in Super Bowl LIV against the Kansas City Chiefs.
It was a dominant display during the first half on the ground and on defense.
The game, though, started off with a whimper. The 49ers went three-and-out on their first offensive possession, and the Packers showed more offensive promise on their first drive before punting. After that, it was all Niners.
Quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo slung the ball to wide receiver Deebo Samuel, who picked up 46 yards on two catches before running back Raheem Mostert (you’ll hear this name often) rushed from 36 yards out for a touchdown.
The Niners stopped the Packers again, but could only muster a field goal in response.
The Niners’ defense continued to torment the Packers, with a K’Waun Williams strip-sack of quarterback Aaron Rodgers followed by a shank by the Packers on a punt. The Niners capitalized with a touchdown by, you guessed it, Raheem Mostert.
From there, the Packers had a chance to score, but while marching down the field, Rodgers fumbled the ball off the rear end of the center, and defensive lineman Deforest Buckner jumped on the ball. Yes, there was a butt fumble.
The Niners took a field goal deep in Packers territory, but Coach Shanahan’s conservative play-calling was saved by an Emmanuel Moseley interception that led to another field goal and a 27-0 lead heading into the half.
From there, the game devolved quickly. The Packers dinked and dunked down the field for a touchdown, Raheem Mostert answered with a touchdown, and the Packers dinked and dunked for a touchdown again.
From there, the 49ers punted the ball despite being at the Packers 39, and the Packers took advantage, scoring yet another touchdown to make it a 34-20 game. Thankfully, the Niners marched slowly down the field, scoring a field goal to make it a 17-point lead.
Shortly thereafter, cornerback Richard Sherman intercepted a deep heave by Rodgers to seal it for the Niners.
The first half 49ers were a team that can dominate the Chiefs. The second half Niners were a team that would get run out of the building within ten minutes.
The good news is: The 49ers will have two weeks to prepare for the biggest game of the season.
The good news is: The 49ers will have two weeks to prepare for a chance to win an illustrious sixth Super Bowl.