2021 NFL playoffs: What we learned from 49ers’ win over Packers in Divisional Round

1. All three phases of football propelled the 49ers to the NFC Championship Game. San Francisco was far from perfect offensively starting with Jimmy Garoppolo, who threw an ugly interception to end a promising scoring drive, and tossed a few more risky passes throughout the contest. When it mattered most, though, Garoppolo was able to rely on his most important weapons: George Kittle and Deebo Samuel. Defensively, the 49ers responded to a failed fourth-down attempt by shutting down Green Bay’s ensuing drive, capping the effort with a sack of Aaron Rodgers. The most important play came on special teams — an area in which the Packers have been the worst in the NFL this season — when San Francisco overwhelmed Green Bay long snapper Steven Wirtel, freeing Jordan Willis to block Corey Bojorquez’s punt. San Francisco recovered the live ball for a score, tying a game that seemed destined to end in a 10-3 final. Finally, when it came time to secure the win, Robbie Gould answered the call. With a helmet warmed by a sideline heater and a foot that has never missed in the postseason, Gould drilled a 45-yarder from a snow-dusted field through the uprights (his second made attempt of the game), sending the 49ers to the conference title game and cementing an ugly, but complete victory for the upstart 49ers.