Jeffrey Becker-USA TODAY Sports

Jeffrey Becker-USA TODAY Sports

49ers special teams comes through in the biggest moments

Chris Beno
Jan 23, 2022 at 8:00 AM--

The San Francisco 49ers upset the Green Bay Packers 13-10, punching their ticket to the NFC Championship Game.

With the wind chill bringing the temperature down to zero degrees, the only thing colder was both teams' offense, with both struggling for the majority of the game.

The 49ers finished the game with 212 total yards on offense, after only having 58 total yards in the first half. All of the points in this game came from the special teams unit, which has emerged as the team's Achilles heel for most of the season.

Towards the end of the first half, 49ers quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo evaded pressure and forced a pass to tight end George Kittle that got intercepted in the red zone. The Packers marched downfield and got into field goal range to try to go into the half up 10-0.

49ers safety Jimmie Ward burst through the formation and blocked the Mason Crosby field goal attempt, keeping the score 7-0 in favor of Green Bay going into the half.

The second half was much of the same offensively. The 49ers began drives with great field position throughout the game but failed to take advantage of it. Often times, the 49ers compounded their mistakes with negative plays, followed by penalties which consistently set them up for 3rd-and-long situations.

In the 3rd quarter, 49ers kicker Robbie Gould hit a 29-yard field goal to make the score 7-3. Both offenses struggled mightily in the frigid temperatures. The 49ers defense came out swinging in the second half, shutting down the run and erasing the Packers playmakers.

Kicker Mason Crosby kicked a 33-yard field goal in the fourth quarter, increasing the Packers' lead to 10-3.

The Packers were forced to punt with 4:41 left in the game, when 49ers defensive lineman Jordan Willis gets a hand on the ball deep in the Packers territory. Rookie safety Talanoa Hufanga scooped up the ball and ran it in for a six-yard touchdown return, tying the game 10-10.

The 49ers defense immediately forced a three-and-out, giving the offense a chance to take the lead with a little over three minutes left in the game. The 49ers went on a nine-play, 44-yard drive, leaving Gould a 45-yard field goal attempt to win the game with four seconds left on the clock.

The rest was history. Gould drilled the field goal, sending the 49ers to their second NFC Championship Game in three years.

The 49ers special teams stepped up in the biggest game of the season. When it mattered most, they made the big play. The 49ers have been hardened by early season struggles and emerged at the other end as a team no one wants to play.

They can beat you in so many ways. Last night, it was special teams. And man, was it a sight to see.
  • Chris Beno
  • Written by:
    Coming from Elk Grove, California I grew up a Bay Area sports fan. I've been cheering for the 49ers for as long as I can remember. In 2005 I joined the Army when I was 18 and got stationed at Fort Hood, Texas. I just kind of hung around here. I've always enjoyed writing and have typically focused on writing music. I am truly blessed to get to cover the 49ers, and have my articles published on the 49ers Webzone. I didn't realize it was something I wanted to pursue as a career, but am now focused on doing just that. I appreciate all of the Faithful that take the time to read the articles people put out there.
The opinions within this article are those of the writer and, while just as important, are not necessarily those of the site as a whole.


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