5 reasons 49ers ultimately managed to beat Packers in NFL playoffs
Reason No. 5: Special Team unit steals the show
Seldom do special team units receive their flowers. They aren’t as glamorous as their offensive counterparts and they can’t affect a game to the same degree as the defensive side of the ball. On most occasions, special team units are viewed as somewhat extraneous. However, the 49ers are now heading to the NFC Championship game, primarily due to their forgotten unit.
Due to a combination of awful weather and bad quarterback play, the 49ers couldn’t get anything going on offense. The running game was tenuous and their passing attack was idle. At the tail end of the first half, and the Packers seemingly on their way to going into the half-time locker room with a 10-0 lead, Mason Crosby walked onto the field to attempt to chip shot from 39 yards. Jimmie Ward, though, would hear none of it as he blocked Crosby’s attempt to keep it at a seven-point deficit.
The biggest play of the game, nevertheless, came in the fourth. With the defense forcing another three and out, the 49ers special teams unit managed to not only block the Packers punt attempt, but rookie Talanoa Hufanga recovered the ball to score a touchdown and tie the game at 10 apiece. Just a few minutes later, Robbie Gould punched their tickets to the NFC Championship thanks to a 45 yard field goal.
Simply put, the 49ers don’t win that game without their special teams unit.