Kyle Shanahan loves Dre Greenlaw except for 'about 3 seconds where I didn't'

Next time Dre Greenlaw intercepts a pass in a crucial situation, immediately going to the ground might be a good idea.

 San Francisco 49ers linebacker Dre Greenlaw (57)
San Francisco 49ers linebacker Dre Greenlaw (57) / Mark Hoffman-USA TODAY Sports

24. 42. 49ers-Packers final score. 21. 49. Final

Dre Greenlaw came up huge in the 49ers' comeback playoff win over the Packers, and Kyle Shanahan was (mostly) thrilled with the linebacker.

The San Francisco 49ers managed to advance beyond the Green Bay Packers despite playing one of their poorer games of the season, pulling off a thrilling 24-21 come-from-behind victory that saw the Packers outplay the Niners for the better part of four quarters.

Except three players -- quarterback Brock Purdy, running back Christian McCaffrey and linebacker Dre Greenaw -- elected to take things over down the stretch.

Purdy's game-winning drive and McCaffrey's go-ahead touchdown highlighted an otherwise challenging offensive performance amid the rainy conditions.

But it was Greenlaw's two-interception night that ensured San Francisco would advance to the NFC Championship game.

Except there was a problem, especially on Greenlaw's final pick off quarterback Jordan Love on the Packers' last-ditch attempt to reclaim the lead with less than a minute remaining.

The linebacker refused to go to the ground.

He didn't fumble, thank goodness, despite the best efforts of every would-be Packers tackler trying to strip the ball loose. And Greenlaw eventually did hit the ground, albeit a bit too long.

And that nearly popped a blood vessel in head coach Kyle Shanahan's head.

Kyle Shanahan jokes about Dre Greenlaw not going to ground, says he 'wanted to run on the field and tackle him'

Speaking to NBC Sports Bay Area after the game, and doing so with nothing but smiles, Shanahan admitted how big a role Greenlaw played in the Niners' win over Green Bay.

Even if it had its stressful moments.

"I can't tell you how awesome Greenlaw is," Shanahan said. "I love Dre. There was about three seconds where I didn't."

For as many momentum swings that San Francisco endured during the game, getting Greenlaw to hit the dirt had to be up there on the coach's priority list.

"I wanted to run on the field and tackle him myself," Shanahan continued. "I wanted him to get down. Once he did, the love came back."

Shanahan probably joined the ranks of thousands upon thousands of 49ers fans who were holding their collective breath and hoping that Greenlaw didn't fumble while trying to juke Green Bay players.

"It's amazing how many guys he makes miss," McCaffrey jokingly said about Greenlaw's tackle-breaking efforts. "Ball security? I don't know, but I'm just glad he's on our team."

So are the rest of the 49ers, who now find themselves advancing to the NFC Championship game largely because of Greenlaw's two-interception night.

Read more from Niner Noise