Robbie Gould is 20 for 20 in his playoff career. Special teams did the Packers in.
The San Francisco 49ers pulled off a shocking upset in the divisional round, coming from behind to defeat the Green Bay Packers, 13-10, at Lambeau Field.
The 49ers were led by a fantastic performance from DeMeco Ryans' defense, which held Aaron Rodgers and Co. in check throughout the game. Do-it-all offensive weapon Deebo Samuel had a monster game (13 touches for 83 yards, plus a 45-yard kick return), and made the key play at the end, converting a third-and-7 run for a first down to set up Robbie Gould's game-winning field goal.
The Niners had previously tied the game with a huge play on special teams, with Jordan Willis blocking a Packers punt. Talanoa Hufanga picked up the loose ball and it took it into end the zone, tying the game at 10 apiece. The Packers went three-and-out on their ensuing possession, which set up San Francisco's game-winning drive.
Why the 49ers won
The 49ers failed to get an offensive touchdown in the 13-10 victory, yet special teams were the difference in the upset of the NFC's top seed. Just before the half, the 49ers defense gave up a 75-yard pass from Aaron Rodgers to Aaron Jones thanks to a blown coverage by Jimmie Ward.
Ward made up for it just two plays later with a block on a Mason Crosby field goal to keep the score at 7-0 heading into the half. That wasn't the only blocked kick for the 49ers on the night, as Corey Bojorquez's punt was blocked by Jordan Willis with San Francisco trailing 10-3 in the fourth quarter that was returned for a touchdown and tied the game at 10-10.
The 49ers gained seven points on special teams and took away three. There was the difference in the game.
Why the Packers lost
The 49ers defense getting five sacks on Aaron Rodgers played a role, but special teams was the Achilles heel. As mentioned earlier, the Packers lost a 10-0 lead before the half with Jimmie Ward blocking Mason Crosby's 39-yard field goal and couldn't retain a 10-3 lead with 4:41 left because they couldn't prevent a punt from getting blocked.
Not like Aaron Rodgers and the offense played excellent, but it was well enough to win. Ditto with the defense. Special teams gave seven and took away three, resulting in a 13-10 loss. No blocked punt and no blocked kick -- and Green Bay takes this by double digits.
The Packers special teams were an issue throughout the season, and they were the reason the 49ers were able to get back into the game. Holding onto a 10-3 led in the fourth quarter and in command of the game, Green Bay's biggest flaw reared its ugly head as Corey Bojorquez's punt was blocked by Jordan Willis and traveled high in the air where four 49ers were in position to return the loose ball.
Talanoa Hufnaga picked up the loose ball and easily scored the touchdown from six yards out to tie the game for the 49ers. Green Bay had chances to avenge the punt block with two drives to score in the quarter, but all the momentum was in San Francisco's favor.
That blocked punt gave the 49ers' life. Not bad for a team that didn't have an offensive touchdown in the win.
Play of the game
The 49ers relied on Deebo Samuel to carry their offense throughout the season and turned to him on the biggest play of the game. Facing a third-and-7 on the Packers 38, the 49ers called a designed run for Samuel on the right side that went for nine yards and the first down.
Instead of wondering if Robbie Gould would have to kick a 50-plus yard field goal, Samuel got the first down and made the winning kick that much easier for a player that was 19 for 19 in playoff field goal attempts. Two plays later, Gould kicked the winning 45-yard field goal to send the 49ers to the NFC Championship Game.
The 49ers (12-7) will travel to the either Los Angeles or Tampa Bay for the NFC Championship Game next Sunday. The Rams and Buccaneers play Sunday. The Packers season ends at 13-5.