49ers 37 Packers 20

From 4-12 to the Super Bowl in one year is amazing.

Jim Rome
January 20, 2020 - 10:30 am
Raheem Mostert

USA Today


So it’s going to be Kansas City and San Francisco. The Montana Bowl. Now that we’ve gotten that one reference out of the way, let’s retire it. The last thing we need is that turning into Jerome Bettis being from Detroit.

And here’s the other thing we don’t need – we don’t need a Super Bowl preview just yet. We’ve got two weeks until the Super Bowl. Pacing is key. So let’s just reflect on what happened in Santa Clara yesterday. 

Because while there was some tension and drama in the AFC Championship game, there was none of that in the NFC Championship game. For all the talk that the regular season blowout wouldn’t matter, the first three quarters yesterday’s game felt like a carbon copy. 

San Francisco came out and just opened up a can on Green Bay. That was an absolute clinic on all sides of the ball by the 49ers. 

I don’t want to say Green Bay lost the game when they decided to punt on fourth and short from midfield on their opening possession, but Green Bay pretty much lost the game when they decided to punt on fourth and short from midfield on their opening possession.  It was pretty much over at that point.

Because San Francisco went pass, run, pass, run, pass, and then a Mostert TD.

7-0 49ers and that was the start of the beatdown. That was one of the most badass playcalls you’ll ever see. Seriously.

A running play on 3rd and 8. From the Green Bay 36. That was a statement. 3rd and 8 is a passing down. For most coaches, third and anything more than three is a passing down. And that wasn’t even a draw. Kyle Shanahan is a wizard. I’m still blown away by that call.  And by the execution of that call. 

And that was just the start of monster game from Raheem Mostert, that offensive line, and pretty much everyone wearing red yesterday. 

Raheem Mostert was on the show a few weeks ago and we talked about how he’d been cut by six teams. And then he rushes for 220 yards and four touchdowns in the NFC championship game. There was nothing fluky about that either. It’s not like he broke off a couple of 90 yard runs and then was mediocre the rest of the game. He was running hard and fast all game. And carrying the load. 

He has a list on his phone of the teams that cut him and they dates they cut him. And now he has the record for most rushing yard in a conference championship game. The guy who is one of the best special team’s players in the league just turned in one of the great rushing performances in league history. That is incredible. 

And he tied for the team lead in pass receptions with two.

Which brings up another point – in this era of the NFL, how do you explain winning an NFC title in a game where your quarterback completed six passes? And attempted 8? Jimmy Garoppolo went more than an hour and a half without throwing a pass. 

That is straight up, stupidity. Green Bay knew what was coming and they were absolutely powerless to stop it. That’s because Shanahan was dialing up plays like a wizard, the offensive line was rolling, and George Kittle was putting on the kind of blocking display that coaches dream about. Just take his clips, slap them on VHS, and sell them for three easy installments of $29.99 plus shipping and handling.

As Kittle told Mike Silver after the game, blocking is “my favorite part of football. Moving a man from Point A to Point B is the greatest feeling you'll ever feel. You've just got to trust me -- there's nothing better than that bleep. (Our coaches) said before this game, 'we’re gonna run it 'till they stop it.' So we did, and they didn't stop it, and we kept running and running some more."

And then he showed up to meet the media wearing a t-shirt of a shirtless Jimmy G on his shirt. 

That is a special occasion and that is pretty good. And the Niners are pretty good.

And here’s another detail about the 49ers that you probably already know, but even if you do know, it bears repeating: the San Francisco 49ers beat the living crap out of you on both sides of the ball. All game. 

They didn’t throw the ball yesterday because they didn’t need to throw the ball. They can, they have.  The will again.  But they don’t need to beat you.   Because they’ll knock on your ass. . The only guys who aren’t killing it as blockers are the guy who handed off the ball and the guy carrying the ball. The other nine guys are putting dudes in the grouuuund.

And on defense? Well, they’ll beat the crap out of you there too. Don’t look at the final stats, because that game was over at halftime.

Green Bay studied what happened after the regular season meeting and came up with a new game plan. And got the exact same result. 

They had 93 yards in the first half, went 0 for 4 on third down, and had a pair of turnovers. And the 49ers pass rush was all over Aaron Rodgers time and time again. There were stretches where it looked like there were 15 pass rushers in red and two blockers in white. That’s how relentless and swarming that defense was.

If you want to make yesterday all about San Francisco’s offense and their rushing attack, go ahead. I can’t blame you. It was that good. But don’t sleep on this defense either, because they are just as good. And the fact that this team went from 4-12 to the Super Bowl in one year is amazing. 

I know there were injuries last season, but at this time last year, this coaching staff was coaching the Senior Bowl, now they’re going to the Super Bowl. From Mobile to Miami in a year is legendary. And the only thing more legendary would be winning it. And they might. And it would no surprise if they did. They have brilliantly constructed roster, and a genius young head coach who is pushing all the right buttons and perhaps even more importantly, leading from the front., with a complete buy in from everyone in his locker room. That is a badass football operation in Santa Clara and I can’t wait to see them on the biggest stage of all.