SANTA CLARA, Calif. — The calendar read January instead of November and it was slightly colder at kickoff. But those were about the only differences when it mattered on Sunday than when Green Bay came to the Bay Area two months ago and lost 37-8. This time, though, the beatdown the 49ers put on the Packers — a 37-20 victory — ended their season and sent the home team to Super Bowl LIV to face the Kansas City Chiefs.
Offense: Raheem Mostert
The Packers had no answer for the undrafted free agent playing on his seventh team. Using a variety of outside runs, Mostert ran for a 49ers playoff record 220 yards and four touchdowns. He averaged 7.6 yards every time he touched it as San Francisco jammed it down Green Bay’s throat to the tune of 285 yards on the ground.
“Just the perimeter plays, man. That’s something we couldn’t stop,” outside linebacker Za’Darius Smith said. “We should have fixed that on the sideline but we didn’t.”
Defense: 49ers front seven
As they did in the first game between the two teams, the 49ers front seven largely owned the line of scrimmage. Outside of a five play sequence where the Packers gained 50 yards, including 27 by Aaron Jones, the offense couldn’t run the ball or keep quarterback Aaron Rodgers upright. That included a pair of sacks and three tackles for loss.
A very emotional locker room best summarized by Blake Martinez, choked up reflecting on season: "This is a special place to me. It gave me my opportunity. I love Green Bay and the fans…I never had a group of guys like this who wanted to win and be better every day." #Packers
QB Aaron Rodgers when asked if the gap between the two sides is as big as it appears:
“Well, it looks pretty big. They got us a couple times. But I don’t think it’s that big. I think we’re really close. I think we’re just a little more consistent performance away from consistently playing with these guys.”
Rodgers on the season
“This one will always be special because (playing football) became fun again.”
Za’Darius Smith when asked about coach Matt LaFleur’s first season:
“Great head coach. I say it every time I talk to you guys. He’s all about his players. What a great year for him but we came up short. But I told him, ‘Man, most definitely we’ll be back in this situation and we’ll finish next time.’”
In Case You Missed It
— A late addition to the injury report with an illness, punter JK Scott did end up playing. Outside of one horrendous punt — a shank that setup a 37-yard touchdown drive — Scott performed well enough.
— The Packers activated safety Raven Greene from injured reserve this week and most expected him to play. That ended up not happening, as the former undrafted free agent was among seven players listed as inactive. That also included fullback Danny Vitale. He’s been dealing with a knee injury suffered against Minnesota in Week 16 and missed his third-straight game.
— Jordy Nelson was among a number of former Packers in attendance. The former wide receiver also took part in the team’s pep rally Saturday.
— 49ers running back Tevin Coleman suffered an elbow injury in the second quarter that led to him being carted off the field.
— Packers safety Adrian Amos suffered a pectoral injury in the second quarter. He initially stayed in the game but did not return after halftime.
— Packers cornerback Jaire Alexander injured his thumb in the third quarter. He did not return and told reporters afterwards that he broke it.
— Rookie tight end Jace Sternberger caught his first career touchdown in the fourth quarter.
— Several Packers may have been playing in their final games. Tackle Bryan Bulaga, kicker Mason Crosby, cornerback Tramon Williams and linebacker Blake Martinez are all slated to become unrestricted free agents.
Inside the Numbers
160 — That’s how many yards rushing Raheem Mostert had rushing in the first half. It was the most rushing yards in a first half in playoff game since 1964.
24:05 — That’s the amount of game time between pass attempts by Jimmy Garoppolo. He threw a pass with 2:10 left in the first half and then not again until there was 8:05 left in the fourth quarter.
1 — That’s how many targets and catches Davante Adams had in the first half. He finished with 11 targets and nine catches for 138 yards.
40 — That’s how many postseason touchdowns Aaron Rodgers has in his career. That’s tied for the most in Packers history with Brett Favre.