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FFL: Offseason | NFL: Divisional

Mostert lifts 49ers to Super Bowl with 37-20 win vs Packers

Sun Jan 19 9:55pm ET
By JOSH DUBOW
AP Pro Football Writer

Players: Aaron Rodgers, Jimmy Garoppolo, Raheem Mostert, Tevin Coleman, Aaron Jones

San Francisco 49ers running back Raheem Mostert, right, celebrates his touchdown with quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo during the second half of the NFL NFC Championship football game against the Green Bay Packers Sunday, Jan. 19, 2020, in Santa Clara, Calif. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)


Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers (12) sits on the bench during the second half of the NFL NFC Championship football game against the San Francisco 49ers Sunday, Jan. 19, 2020, in Santa Clara, Calif. (AP Photo/Ben Margot)


San Francisco 49ers running back Raheem Mostert, right, celebrates his touchdown with quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo during the second half of the NFL NFC Championship football game against the Green Bay Packers Sunday, Jan. 19, 2020, in Santa Clara, Calif. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)


San Francisco 49ers defensive end Nick Bosa (97) in action against the Green Bay Packers during the first half of the NFL NFC Championship football game Sunday, Jan. 19, 2020, in Santa Clara, Calif. (AP Photo/Tony Avelar)


San Francisco 49ers defensive end Dee Ford (55) gestures next to Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers (12) during the first half of the NFL NFC Championship football game Sunday, Jan. 19, 2020, in Santa Clara, Calif. (AP Photo/Tony Avelar)


Green Bay Packers head coach Matt LaFleur, center right, watches during the first half of the NFL NFC Championship football game against the San Francisco 49ers Sunday, Jan. 19, 2020, in Santa Clara, Calif. (AP Photo/Tony Avelar)


Green Bay Packers wide receiver Allen Lazard (13) falls to the ground between San Francisco 49ers free safety Jimmie Ward (20) and Emmanuel Moseley during the first half of the NFL NFC Championship football game Sunday, Jan. 19, 2020, in Santa Clara, Calif. (AP Photo/Tony Avelar)


San Francisco 49ers defensive back K'Waun Williams, right, knocks the ball away from Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers during the first half of the NFL NFC Championship football game Sunday, Jan. 19, 2020, in Santa Clara, Calif. The Packers recovered. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)


San Francisco 49ers quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo (10) celebrates after converting a first down against the Green Bay Packers during the first half of the NFL NFC Championship football game Sunday, Jan. 19, 2020, in Santa Clara, Calif. (AP Photo/Tony Avelar)


San Francisco 49ers running back Raheem Mostert (31) scores in front of Green Bay Packers free safety Darnell Savage during the first half of the NFL NFC Championship football game Sunday, Jan. 19, 2020, in Santa Clara, Calif. (AP Photo/Tony Avelar)


SANTA CLARA, Calif. (AP) Raheem Mostert rushed for 220 yards and four touchdowns to make quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo mostly a spectator, Nick Bosa harassed Aaron Rodgers from the start and the San Francisco 49ers beat the Green Bay Packers 37-20 for the NFC championship on Sunday.

The 49ers (15-3) advanced to their first Super Bowl in seven years and will play the Kansas City Chiefs in two weeks in Miami for the championship.

It's been a remarkable turnaround for a team that won just 10 games in the first two seasons under coach Kyle Shanahan and general manager John Lynch and had the No. 2 pick in the most recent draft.

Now, San Francisco is one of two teams left standing after delivering a second thorough beating of the season to Rodgers and the Packers (14-4). The Niners are the third team to make it to the Super Bowl a year after winning four or fewer games, joining Cincinnati (1988) and the Rams (1999).

Bosa, the prize for last year's rough season as the No. 2 overall pick, helped set the tone when he ended Green Bay's second drive of the game with a 13-yard sack of Rodgers.

Mostert, a former special teams standout, did much of the rest in a remarkable redemption story for a former surfer who was cut seven times and carried the ball only eight times in his first three seasons in the NFL.

But he has become a key part of the NFC's top team this year, leading the Niners with 772 yards rushing in the regular season and delivering a performance for the ages in the NFC title game.

He had the second-most yards rushing in a playoff game to Eric Dickerson's 248 for the Rams on Jan. 4, 1986, and was the first player to rush for at least four TDs and 200 yards in a playoff game.

He got started when he burst 36 yards on a third-and-8 trap play to open the scoring on San Francisco's second drive and kept ripping off long runs behind impressive blocking.

He added TD runs of 9 and 18 yards in the second quarter and had 160 yards rushing at the half, becoming the only player in NFL history to rush for at least 150 yards and three TDs in the first half of a playoff game.

Mostert added a 22-yard TD run in the third quarter.

Rodgers and the Packers were unable to match that performance as they got overwhelmed by San Francisco's dominant front for a second time this season.

Rodgers had a career-low 3.15 yards per attempt in a 37-8 loss here back in November and wasn't much better in the first half of the rematch.

He lost a snap from center to end Green Bay's only promising drive of the half, threw an interception to Emmanuel Moseley late in the half and didn't convert his first third down of the season against the Niners until connecting on a 6-yard pass to Aaron Jones on the opening drive of the second quarter for his first third-down conversion in 18 attempts this season against the Niners.

Rodgers capped that drive with a 9-yard TD pass to Jones, but the game was too far out of hand by that point.

He led Green Bay to two more TDs and finished with 326 yards passing, but it wasn't nearly enough as the Packers lost the NFC title game for the third time since their last Super Bowl trip following the 2010 season.

QUIET DAY

The Niners asked very little of Garoppolo, who threw only eight passes thanks to the big-play running game and lopsided score. He went 24 minutes of game time between his sixth and seventh passes and finished with six completions for 77 yards.

PASSING FAVRE

Rodgers' two TD passes gave him 40 in his playoff career, breaking Brett Favre's franchise record of 39. Rodgers also has seven straight playoff games with at least two TD throws, one shy of Joe Flacco's record.

INJURIES

Packers: S Adrian Amos left after injuring his pectoral muscle in the first half. ... CB Jaire Alexander left in the second half with a thumb injury.

49ers: RB Tevin Coleman left in the first half with a shoulder injury.

UP NEXT

49ers: The team's seventh appearance in the Super Bowl against the Chiefs on Feb. 2.

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Chris Godwin Jan 15 7:00pm ET

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Mike Evans Jan 15 6:30pm ET

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Leonard Fournette Jan 15 6:10pm ET

Tampa Bay Buccaneers running back Leonard Fournette will be in for a tough test against the Saints' stingy defense this weekend. Fournette will get the start after teammate Ronald Jones II (quad, finger) was deemed a game-time decision. The veteran back is coming off a season-high 19 carries against Washington, though the Saints Defense is a much different beast against the run. They were one of just five teams to allow under 100 rushing yards per game this season, and they held Tampa Bay to just 94 rushing yards in two regular-season games. Even if Fournette gets the backfield to himself, this is far from an ideal matchup. He should be avoided this week in DFS.

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Tom Brady Jan 15 5:50pm ET

Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Tom Brady gets a tough matchup against the Saints in the divisional round on Sunday. Brady is coming off of a 381-yard, two-touchdown performance against the league's second-best pass defense last week- and gets another top-five unit in New Orleans this weekend. The veteran signal-caller tossed five interceptions in two regular-season losses against the Saints, though the Buccaneers' offense is more dangerous lately- having scored 30-plus points in each of their last four games. Brady will be motivated to prove that the regular-season losses were flukes and may have to use his arm to do so. He's a good fantasy option in what could be a very competitive game.

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Von Miller Jan 15 4:20pm ET

Denver Broncos linebacker Von Miller is the subject of a police investigation in Parker, Colorado, although police haven't specified why they are investigating the former Super Bowl MVP. Miller missed the entire 2020 season after suffering a season-ending ankle injury in practice just days before the season opener. The 31-year-old was suspended for six games in 2013 for violating the league's substance-abuse policy and also had an arrest warrant issued that same summer after a failure to appear in court after multiple traffic violations. The Broncos face a decision on the pass-rusher, as he is heading into the final year of his six-year, $114.5 million deal he signed in 2016. If they release Miller, the team would face a dead-money charge of $4.125 million against the salary cap for 2021.

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Sammy Watkins Jan 15 4:10pm ET

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Clyde Edwards-Helaire Jan 15 4:10pm ET

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David Njoku Jan 15 4:00pm ET

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Sammy Watkins Jan 15 2:23pm ET

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Dawson Knox Jan 15 1:00pm ET

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Ronald Jones II Jan 15 12:53pm ET

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Devin Singletary Jan 15 12:40pm ET

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