Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports

Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports


Rapid Reaction to the 49ers 37-20 NFC Championship Victory over Green Bay

Matt Andruscavage
Jan 19, 2020 at 10:05 PM


The 49ers are headed to the Super Bowl after their 37-20 drubbing of the Green Bay Packers in the NFC Championship Game! Here are some initial reactions:

1) This Ground Game is Dominant


Yeah, I'm sure most will agree with this point, but did anyone really see San Francisco steamrolling two playoff opponents on the back of its ground game, almost entirely? Jimmy Garoppolo threw EIGHT passes. EIGHT! The rushing attack ran 42 times for an eye-popping 285 yards and four touchdowns. Everyone knew what the 49ers were going to do, especially in the second half. It did not matter. Kyle Shanahan dared Mike Pettine to try and stop it. The Packers failed to stop the ground game on nearly every important snap.

Raheem Mostert has really done a remarkable job as he seized control of the primary rushing job. Mostert ran for a 49er record 220 yards on 29 carries and scored all four touchdowns.

While Mostert will get most of the headlines, and rightfully so, it's what happens up front that makes much of this possible. The offensive line has been terrific and it's gotten a lot of help from fullback Kyle Juszczyk and tight end George Kittle. 49er running backs are having almost no trouble finding holes and spots to run and are moving the ball as well as most NFL passing attacks. It's truly remarkable.

Against both the Packers and Vikings, the 49ers ran the ball so many times in a row and scored touchdowns on long drives sustained by the ground attack. In this day and age where passing is king, it's quite the throwback game plan.

2) The Defense Makes Life Miserable for Opposing Offenses


After a number of regular season games where the defense was not the dominating force it was in the early part of the season, San Francisco's vaunted unit has virtually shut down two playoff opponents.

Against the Vikings, the defense took away Dalvin Cook and got after Kirk Cousins, holding that offense to 10 points. Last night against Green Bay, Robert Saleh's unit got after Aaron Rodgers and forced three turnovers, something the Packers rarely commit. While statistically, the Packers ended up with 358 total yards, 21 first downs, and 20 points, much of that was accumulated late in the game when it was already out of reach. During the time when it counts the most, the San Francisco defense has stifled opponents.

3) Kyle Shanahan Knows How to Find the Weakness of the Opponent


Heading into the Super Bowl, what should give 49ers fans a lot of confidence is having Coach Shanahan on their side. Shanahan is a master play-caller, play designer, and schemes as well as anyone right now. He located the weaknesses in both Minnesota's and Green Bay's defenses and just abused them.

He now has two weeks to prepare for Andy Reid. While Patrick Mahomes and all of his weapons are very dangerous, Shanahan may be the edge the 49ers need in order to defeat the Chiefs and bring home championship number six.

Extra Points


- Richard Sherman gave up a 65-yard pass play to Davante Adams late in the game. It was the first ever significant gain by Adams on Sherman. Sherman, however, sealed the game with an interception on a deep pass to Adams.

- Emmanuel Moseley has proven to be an invaluable undrafted find. Moseley has been so good and so reliable no matter who he has had to cover. He will be needed against Kansas City.

- K'Waun Williams, Nick Bosa, DeForest Buckner, and Dre Greenlaw all had minor injuries, but all returned. Tevin Coleman was carted off after a shoulder injury. He will get an MRI on Monday to determine the damage. Hopefully, he can play in the Super Bowl.
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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