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16 frozen observations from the 49ers’ win in Green Bay

Marc Adams
Jan 24, 2022 at 11:13 AM--

What an ugly game. But what a beautiful game.

The San Francisco 49ers struggled for most of the divisional round playoff in Green Bay against the Packers on Saturday night. The offense could not generate yards, much less points, especially in the first half. But somehow the 49ers, driven by a dominant defense, and the resurrection of a dead special teams unit came to life, and beat the Packers 13-10.

You read that correctly. The 49ers held Aaron Rodgers and Davante Adams to 10 points. And now the 49ers are heading to their second NFC Championship Game in the last three years.

Here are my 16 observations from a frozen win:

  • Robbie Gould has ice in his veins. His snowy, frozen walk-off, game-winning field goal was the stuff of legends.
  • Nick Bosa is already a legend. He is about to break Charles Haley's postseason record for most sacks as a 49er. And Bosa is only in his second postseason. Bosa has six and a half sacks in only five playoff games. Haley had seven and a half, in 12 playoff games.

  • Jimmy Garoppolo is such a frustrating quarterback. He had three good throws in the first half that were dropped. Then he was terrible for most of the game. In the end, he did just enough to win. I love Garoppolo, but he's cutting years off of my life.
  • Those throws Garoppolo attempts to the flats are so risky. They often lack the zip they need to be completed, floating like they're in no-gravity space. Plus he often throws them when he's in trouble, so they are usually poorly thrown. Garoppolo barely missed throwing a pick-six a few different times. I wish he'd learn to throw the ball away when he's in trouble.
  • The running game was a non-factor. Yes, they rushed for 106 yards, but it was a struggle. This game could have been much easier if the 49ers were able to run the ball. But they did manage to run it 29 times.
  • Deebo Samuel. That's all.
  • The offensive line was bad. Every one of them struggled, at times, in this game.
  • The special teams unit came up huge! A blocked field goal, a blocked punt for a touchdown, two field goals (including the game-winner), and a nice return by Samuel? This unit had hurt the team all season. On Saturday, they saved the team.
  • Special Teams Coordinator, Richard Hightower, may have also saved his job.
  • The defense was so good. This is probably the best defense in the NFL. They were impressive, especially in the second half. To hold this Packers team to 10 points is incredible. And there were so many heroes. I feel like every one of them made a crucial play.
  • The pass rush was relentless, sacking Rodgers five times.
  • DeMeco Ryans deserves to be a head coach. He is excellent. That's why I hope the 49ers don't lose him yet. I'm selfish that way.
  • The offense was terrible. They had a few drives where it looked like the tide was turning. But then a penalty (or ugly interception) would kill the drive.
  • The face-mask penalty that was called on Elijah Mitchell was ridiculous. That is rarely called, and should not have been, especially in that situation. It probably cost the 49ers a few more points.
  • Arik Armstead has been unstoppable lately. He had two huge third-down sacks on Saturday. I'm not saying it was the right decision to keep him over DeForest Buckner, but Armstead did have a better season in 2021.
  • Jaquiski Tartt saved the day when he kept Aaron Jones from scoring right before halftime. What an amazing play! It set up Jimmie Ward's blocked field goal and kept the 49ers within reach. The game was 7-0 at the half. For as bad as the 49ers played in the first half, I remember thinking it was amazing that they were down only one touchdown.

The 49ers have had some tough games over the last month. And it won't get any easier, as the team will travel to Inglewood to play the Los Angeles Rams on Sunday. There aren't many teams I hate more than the Rams (Dallas and Seattle), so I want this one really bad. Get to the Super Bowl, and make the Rams sad. That would make my day.
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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