Green Bay Sputters Late as San Francisco Moves on to NFC Championship

With a loaded slate of games for the NFL's divisional round of the playoffs, many would have expected this to be one of the weaker matchups. However, Jordan Love and the Green Bay Packers would head into San Francisco and give the Niners a fight. Ultimately, the 49ers, led by Brock Purdy, edged out Green Bay to secure another NFC Championship trip as they won 24-21.

Most of the attention will be on the Packer's last play of the game, which resulted in Jordan Love forcing a pass across the middle that Linebacker Dre Greenlaw intercepted. However, what can't be ignored is just how well the Packers as a team played, including Love. Love played a great third quarter despite having a pass sail for an interception in the half prior. The young QB threw two touchdowns, which gave the Packers the lead 21-14 heading into the 4th. Aaron Jones was a massive factor in Green Bay's offensive success as the seven-year veteran ran for over 100 yards and a touchdown on the day. Second-year Wide Receiver Romeo Doubs led the Pack in receiving for the second straight game with 85 yards on four catches.

Defensively, Green Bay couldn't hold up when it mattered most against Brock Purdy and the Niner offense. Despite struggling early due to the inclement weather, Purdy shined with the game on the line. The 49ers mustered a five-minute drive with six to go in the 4th to take a 24-21 lead with only a minute on the clock. Purdy put on a master class on this drive, hitting five of his six pass attempts. Leading candidate for Offensive Player of the Year, Christian McCaffery, punched in the game-winning touchdown to add to another impressive game. CMC had 17 carries for 98 yards and punched in two touchdowns while hauling in 30 more yards through the air. All-Pro Tight End George Kittle led the team in receiving with four catches for 81 yards while also hauling in the game-opening score.  

San Francisco's defense again showed why it is one of the league's premier units, forcing multiple turnovers in critical situations. Linebacker Dre Greenlaw was tremendous on Sunday, showing why he is one of the league's best. Greenlaw led his team in tackles with eight, but what was most important were his two picks. Dre's pick in the third quarter set up a field goal, and his second pick sealed a trip to the NFC Championship.

This victory sealed what will be the fourth NFC championship appearance in the past five years for the 49ers—an impressive feat but one that has only birthed a single Super Bowl appearance in that time. With a win on Sunday against Detroit, San Francisco can again punch its ticket to the promised land.