It’s official. The San Francisco 49ers are heading to Miami for Super Bowl 2020. With a 27-0 lead after the second period, the Green Bay Packers were in danger of suffering what would arguably be one of the heaviest defeats in an NFC Championship game. The Packers did rally towards the end to cut the deficit. In fact, they outscored the 49ers in the last period of play. The 49ers’ lead, however, proved to be too high a mountain to conquer for Aaron Rodgers and the Packers as they failed to make it through to Super Bowl 2020.
Running the ball was always the 49ers’ strength, as we mentioned in our preview. The Packers learned as much at Levi’s Stadium on Sunday night (Monday morning IST). The Packers vs 49ers game showcased shades of the 49ers’ victory over the Minnesota Vikings last week. While Jimmy Garoppolo and Tevin Coleman ran the 49ers’ show that night, this time, an unlikely hero took away the game from the Packers.
Raheem Mostert was the man of the hour in the NFC Championship game at Levi’s Stadium. At 7.6 yards a run, Mostert carried the ball for 220 yards and had four touchdowns to his name on the night. Such was his dominance that he rushed for 160 yards and had three touchdowns by halftime. In doing so, Raheem Mostert wrote his name in the history books of the NFL. At Levi’s Stadium, Raheem Mostert became the first player to rush for four touchdowns in a championship game. His 220 yards also set the NFL record for second-most yards in an NFL playoff game. Eric Dickerson’s 248 yards against the Dallas Cowboys in 1985 edges Mostert’s mammoth effort.
At Levi’s Stadium on Sunday night, the 49ers showed that there’s more than one way to get to Super Bowl. The Kansas City Chiefs booked their ticket to Super Bowl 2020 on the back of a flashy offence led by Patrick Mahomes. The Chiefs let their offence wreak havoc against the Tennessee Titans, banking on their defence to effect enough stops. The 49ers, on the other hand, reminded the NFL that they were second only to the Lamar Jackson-led Baltimore Ravens in rushing attempts and yards. The fact that the 49ers’ strength lies in running the ball was no secret. As Raheem Mostert highlighted on the night, the Packers failed to stifle 49ers’ old-school approach, despite being given a glimpse of this approach during the game against the Vikings. Aaron Rodgers' disappointment, however, is a trip to Super Bowl 2020 for the San Francisco 49ers.