Packers vs. 49ers result: San Francisco shocks Green Bay as special teams lead the way to NFC title game

The San Francisco 49ers caused a shocking upset in the divisional round when they defeated the Green Bay Packers 13-10 at Lambeau Field.

The 49ers were led by a fantastic defensive performance from DeMeco Ryans, which kept Aaron Rodgers and company at bay throughout the game. Jack-of-all-trades offensive weapon Deebo Samuel had monster play (13 touches for 83 yards plus a 45-yard kick return) and ended up making the key play, converting a third-and-7 run for a first down by Robbie Goulds to prepare the game-winning field goal.

The Niners had previously leveled the game with a big game against Special Teams, with Jordan Willis blocking a Packers punt. Talanoa Hufanga picked up the loose ball and put it to the end of the zone, keeping the game at 10 a piece. The Packers went three-and-out on their subsequent possession, establishing San Francisco’s game-winning drive.

Why the 49ers won

The 49ers failed to manage an offensive touchdown in the 13-10 win, but special teams made the difference in the excitement of the NFC top seed. Just before halftime, the 49ers defense gave up a 75-yard pass from Aaron Rodgers to Aaron Jones thanks to a blown cover by Jimmie Ward.

Ward made up for it just two games later with a block on a Mason Crosby field goal to keep the score 7-0 at halftime. That wasn’t the only blocked kick for the 49ers that night, as Corey Bojorquez’s punt was blocked by Jordan Willis while San Francisco trailed 10-3 in the fourth quarter, which was returned for a touchdown and the game 10-10 ended in a draw.

The 49ers picked up seven points and took away three with special teams. It was the difference in the game.

Why the Packers lost

The 49ers’ defense, which took five sacks from Aaron Rodgers, played a role, but special teams were the Achilles’ heel. As previously mentioned, the Packers lost a 10-0 lead before halftime when Jimmie Ward blocked Mason Crosby’s 39-yard field goal and were unable to hold a 10-3 lead with 4:41 left because they unable to prevent a punt being blocked.

Not like Aaron Rodgers and the offense played great but it was good 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 that in double digits.

turning point

The Packers’ special teams were an issue throughout the season, and they were the reason the 49ers were able to get back in the game. Green Bay held on to a 10-3 lead in the fourth quarter and dominated the game. Green Bay’s biggest mistake reared its ugly head when Corey Bojorquez’s punt was blocked by Jordan Willis and flew high in the air where four 49ers were in position to return the loose ball.

Talanoa Hufnaga picked up the loose ball and scored the touchdown from six yards to level the game for the 49ers. Green Bay had chances to avenge the punt block with two drives to score in the quarter, but the whole momentum was in San Francisco’s favor.

This blocked punt gave life to the 49ers. Not bad for a team that didn’t have an offensive touchdown in the win.

game of the game

The 49ers relied on Deebo Samuel to keep their offense going all season and turned to him in the biggest play of the game. Faced with a third-and-7 on the Packers 38, the 49ers called a designed run for Samuel down the right that lasted nine yards and the first down.

Instead of wondering if Robbie Gould would need to kick a 50-yard field goal, Samuel made the first down and made the winning goal that much easier for a player who was 19-19 on 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) travel to either Los Angeles or Tampa Bay for the NFC Championship Game next Sunday. The Rams and Buccaneers play on Sunday. The Packers season ends at 13-5.

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