NFL News & Analysis

NFL Divisional Round Game Recap: San Francisco 49ers 13, Green Bay Packers 10

Green Bay, Wisconsin, USA; San Francisco 49ers wide receiver Deebo Samuel (19) is tackled by Green Bay Packers inside linebacker De'Vondre Campbell (59) during the second quarter during a NFC Divisional playoff football game at Lambeau Field. Mandatory Credit: Jeffrey Becker-USA TODAY Sports

All three phases of football are required to win games in the playoffs, and San Francisco’s special teams unit led the way in the 49ers13-10 upset win over the Green Bay Packers


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Once again, the 49ers' ball control offense and great pass rush on defense stalled out what was an explosive Packers team.

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San Francisco 49ers

Quarterback

Jimmy Garoppolo continues to defy what many believe is required to win playoff games in the modern era. His most impactful pass landed in the lap of a Packers defensive back, as it was underthrown and inside after he escaped pressure. Leaning on the run game kept Garroppolo in manageable third downs, which was key to keeping him away from the Packers’ edge rushers.

Running back

The weather conditions didn't allow Elijah Mitchell and Deebo Samuel to turn on the jets toward the edge in the way that we’ve become accustomed to in Kyle Shanahan’s outside zone scheme. The two combined for 92 yards from 27 carries. Most importantly, the 49ers leaned on the tandem to get into field-goal range for the win.

Player Carries Yards Per Carry % of Yards After Contact First Downs Gained
Elijah Mitchell 17 3.1 55% 3
Deebo Samuel 10 3.9 77% 2
Wide receivers/Tight ends

Samuel defies positional designation, gaining almost equal yardage through the air (44) as he did on the ground (39). His run after the catch on screens took advantage of Green Bay’s tight coverages downfield while he and George Kittle were reliable third-down options. Kittle’s 63 yards carried double the impact for a 49ers passing game that struggled to push the ball downfield.

Offensive line

The power and size of Green Bay’s pass rush crushed the pocket with regularity. Laken Tomlinson and Tom Compton combined to give up four sacks and eight pressures. The 49ers' offensive line, as a whole, allowed 11 pressures.

Defensive line

Nick Bosa, who suffered a concussion last week, strapped on a new helmet and got back to doing what he’s best at – tormenting tackles and quarterbacks. The edge rusher was the linchpin in San Francisco’s attack, logging six pressures and two sacks.

Player Pass Rush Snaps Pressures Sacks + Hits Pass Rush Wins
Nick Bosa 29 5 2 2
Arik Armstead 27 4 2 4
Linebackers

Fred Warner’s skill set was made to play against the Packers offense, as he combated the run with physicality and the pass with agility. Warner wrapped up a tackle for loss and another run stop despite that every Packers run scheme accounted for him. He allowed no yards from three targets in coverage.

Secondary

The storyline coming into this divisional round matchup centered around whether San Francisco could hold up in coverage, especially with its struggles at cornerback. K’Waun Williams and Dontae Johnson allowed a combined 96 yards from eight receptions, but only two of those receptions gained 15 or more yards. Dropping into zone coverage and keeping the game in front of the sticks allowed the pass rush the time it needed to get home.

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Green Bay Packers

Quarterback

Aaron Rodgers was productive through the air to start Saturday’s action. As the game went on, the weather worsened and the 49ers' pass rush improved, the future Hall-of-Famer struggled to push the ball down the field. San Francisco’s zone coverage kept Green Bay’s passing game in front of the sticks and out of the end zone.

Running back

AJ Dillon and Aaron Jones seemed poised for a big game in the first half, especially through the air. San Francisco blew a coverage that led to the longest gain of the night, where Jones got behind the defensive backs for 75 yards. As a tandem, Jones and Dillon combined for less than 3.5 yards per rush.

Wide receivers/Tight ends

Davante Adams was the Packers' only non-running back to register multiple touches, reeling in nine receptions for 90 yards. San Francisco tried to roll coverage in his direction early in the game, but once its pass rush caught fire, Green Bay couldn't use Adams as a downfield threat.

Players Targets Receptions Receiving Yards First Downs Gained
Davante Adams 11 9 90 5
All Other Packers WR/TE 6 2 6 1
Offensive line

Green Bay struggled to protect across the board, giving up 13 pressures as a unit. The news of David Bakhtiari missing the action was a bad omen for the five-man unit, and Green Bay’s pair of tackles allowed eight pressures to Nick Bosa and company.

Defensive line

Rashan Gary’s transition from three-technique in college to edge rusher in Green Bay continued to bear fruit for the Packers upfront, as he ran around and through San Francisco for five pressures and a pair of sacks.

Player Pass Rush Snaps Pressures Sacks + Hits
Rashan Gary 17 6 4
Z’Darius Smith 11 3 1
Preston Smith 14 1 0
Linebackers

De’Vondre Campbell was a key against San Francisco's relentless ground game Two of his six tackles against the run were defensive stops, and he wasn’t taken advantage of in coverage, allowing just one first down from four targets.

Secondary

Adrian Amos recorded the game’s only interception, jumping underneath Garoppolo’s pass in front of the end zone. Aside from that, there wasn’t much action to be found on the perimeter when the 49ers had the football. Eric Stokes was targeted the most (four) and gave up the most yardage (42).

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