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Cary Edmondson-USA TODAY Sports

Cary Edmondson-USA TODAY Sports

49ers’ rushing attack vs. Packers made ‘life very easy back there’ for Jimmy Garoppolo

Jan 19, 2020 at 9:19 PM--

Quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo was asked during his post-game press conference if he could discuss each of his pass attempts during the San Francisco 49ers' 37-20 victory over the Green Bay Packers in the NFC Championship Game. It wasn't a serious question. It was asked because Garoppolo had just eight passes in the game.

The quarterback didn't have to work too hard to earn a trip to Super Bowl LIV. Garoppolo got to watch his 49ers rack up 354 rushing yards against the Packers. Raheem Mostert had 220 of those rushing yards and found the end zone four times on 29 carries. The running back's rushing total set a new single-game franchise record and ranks No. 2 all-time in a playoff game. Only Eric Dickerson's 248 rushing yards in a playoff game ranks higher.

"We were running the hell out of the ball tonight," Garoppolo told reporters after the game. "It made my life very easy back there. I think I had like eight pass attempts, so it was a fun night."

Teams always hope to find success in a game plan, but it's doubtful the 49ers envisioned the rushing attack taking over the NFC Championship Game as it did on Sunday.

"You always think that way, and you try to plan that way, but you just kind of feel the game out as it goes," Garoppolo continued. "I thought Kyle (Shanahan) did a great job calling the game, and just the guys did a great job of executing."

The first meeting between the two teams, a Week 12 matchup in November, played a part in the 49ers' success on Sunday. San Francisco embarrassed the Packers 37-8 in that earlier matchup.

"We got a couple of big plays the first time we played them," Garoppolo explained. "We thought we'd have those opportunities (again), but they wanted to take those away and open up the running lanes. It's just kind of pick your poison kind of thing (against us)."

Garoppolo finished the game 6-of-8 for 77 yards and a 104.7 passer rating.

A week ago, against the Minnesota Vikings, there was a scary moment when it looked like Garoppolo could have suffered a leg injury. He didn't, thanks to the knee brace he has worn all season. On Sunday against the Packers, there was another similarly scary moment. Luckily, the quarterback was fine.

"A scary moment, but the brace held up again," Garoppolo said.

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