49ers' dominant win over Packers in NFC Championship Game,  Things We Learned Heading Into Super Bowl LIV Between The San Francisco 49ers Kansas City Chiefs

Andy Reid is one step closer to securing his first Super Bowl title.

The lack of a Super Bowl title on Andy Reid's head coaching resume has been a blemish that has plagued the otherwise stellar coach for the bulk of his career. Now, following Kansas City's win over the Titans in the AFC Championship, Reid will be back in the Super Bowl and vying for that elusive title for the first time since 2004. 

Of course, Reid was the head coach of the Philadelphia Eagles the last time he was in the big game, which marks a 15-year gap in Super Bowl appearances for the head coach. That's the second longest in Super Bowl history only behind D*** Vermeil (19 years). While Reid was able to make it to the Super Bowl that year, his Eagles club fell short of the Lombardi Trophy, losing to the New England Patriots.

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Winners, losers from 49ers' dominant win over Packers in NFC Championship Game

The San Francisco 49ers punched their ticket to Super Bowl LIV with a convincing 37-20 win over the Green Bay Packers Sunday in the NFC Championship Game. 

After both teams got off to slow starts on their first offensive possession, the 49ers established their dominance on their second drive of the game, a six-play drive that went 89 yards and was a harbinger of doom for a Packers team that was sorely outmatched on both sides of the ball. 

By halftime, the 49ers had a 27-0 lead. 

Aaron Rodgers would not go down without a fight and the Packers woke up offensively in the second half. Midway through the fourth quarter, after Aaron Rodgers threw his second touchdown of the game, Green Bay pulled to within two touchdowns, 34-20. 

Then, the 49ers went on a 10-play drive that ended with three more points, icing the game for good. 

These were the biggest winners and losers from the 49ers’ resounding victory over the Packers in the NFC Championship Game. 

Winner: Raheem Mostert has national coming-out party


Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

If you didn’t know about Raheem Mostert before Sunday’s NFC Championship Game, you do now. Largely unheralded on the national stage, Mostert had an absolutely monster game for the 49ers Sunday.

By halftime, Mostert had already piled up 160 yards and three touchdowns on just 14 carries, making NFL history in the process.

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Raheem Mostert is the only player in NFL history with 150+ rush yards and 3+ rush touchdowns in a single half of a playoff game. | @RMos_8Ball | @49ers

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He seemingly was ripping off huge gains every time he touched the ball, and his 36-yard first-quarter touchdown run set the stage for what was a legendary performance. All told, this former undrafted Purdue product finished Sunday’s title game with 226 yards and four touchdowns from scrimmage, and he was the driving force behind San Francisco’s offense.

Loser: Aaron Rodgers was overwhelmed


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Just like we saw back in November, the Green Bay offense had no way to slow down the juggernaut 49ers defensive front. Even with Bryan Bulaga in the lineup this time, the explosive and talented defensive line practically lived in Green Bay’s backfield on passing downs.

Aaron Rodgers, not surprisingly, came back strong in the second half after being shut out in the first. But there was just way too much pressure up front by the 49ers. Rodgers turned it over three times, two interceptions and one lost fumble, and actually fumbled three times. 

It wasn’t quite the bloodbath that the regular-season matchup was, but the Packers’ offense was absolutely outclassed by a 49ers pass defense that has been the league’s best all year long.

Winner: Emmanuel Moseley proves 49ers right


Cary Edmondson-USA TODAY Sports

The 49ers were tight-lipped about whether Akhello Witherspoon or Emmanuel Mosely would start opposite Richard Sherman against the Packers Sunday. Just hours before the game began, Matt Maiocco of NBC Bay Area shared that he’d been told Moseley would get the nod.

That proved to be the right move. Moseley, a second-year former undrafted rookie out of Tennessee, was so clutch. He made four solo tackles, including one amazing tackle behind the line of scrimmage on a screen. And most importantly, Moseley picked off Rodgers in the second quarter, and the 49ers went up 27-0 on their next offensive possession.

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Emmanuel Moseley with the interception. 2nd INT of the season for the former @Vol_Football @Mannymoseley

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Loser: Packers defense was a train wreck


Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

It didn’t take long for the 49ers to impose their will on the Packers’ defense Sunday. Once Jimmy Garoppolo took an early shot to his surgically-repaired left knee, Kyle Shanahan almost completely abandoned the passing game, and the 49ers instead ran the ball right down the Packers’ throats for the remainder of the contest.

A highly physical contest, the NFC Championship Game saw the Packers lose star cornerback Jaire Alexander and starting safety Adrian Amos. Those injuries only hurt Green Bay’s chances of slowing down the 49ers. But even if they had been able to play a full game, the result likely would have remained the same. 

The 49ers had a perfect game plan, and the players executed it with precision. The Packers had no way to combat what was coming their way, and the result speaks for itself. San Francisco scored on six consecutive drives after going three-and-out on their opening possession. Game over.  

The Super Bowl matchup for the NFL's centennial season should be a delight for history buffs, as the Chiefs and 49ers both bring plenty to the table.

      

The 32 things we learned from the championship round of the 2019 NFL playoffs with the Super Bowl LIV matchup between the San Francisco 49ers and Kans... now set:

1. This Super Bowl should be an enjoyable study of contrasts, the Chiefs installed as slight early favorites. But this generally projects as a tossup between one club that's been absent from Super Sunday for a half-century and one of the NFL's flagship franchises. And should be plenty of water cooler fodder as "experts" debate the merits of Kansas City's quick-strike attack, triggered by QB Patrick Mahomes, and the Niners' throwback formula, which relies on a relentless ground attack and an exceptional defense that is very hard to throw against.

2. Question: How are the Chiefs supposed to get more motivated to win the Super Bowl's Vince Lombardi Trophy after winning their first Lamar Hunt Trophy, named for their franchise's founder and conferred annually to the AFC champion?

2a. (Answer: It probably won't be very hard.)

3. The Chiefs are back in the Super Bowl for the first time since they won Super Bowl IV following the 1969 season – the final time the NFL and AFL champions squared off before the leagues merged in 1970.4. San Francisco joins the 1988 Bengals and 1999 Rams as the only teams to reach the Super Bowl a year after winning four or fewer games. The Rams won Super Bowl XXXIV, while the Bengals lost Super Bowl XXIII ... to Joe Montana's 49ers.

5. The Niners are now one win from securing their sixth Lombardi Trophy, which would tie them with the Steelers and Patriots for most ever.



6. San Francisco's Kyle Shanahan is one win from joining his father, Mike, as a Super Bowl-winning head coach. It would be the first time a father-son combo won Lombardi's in that role.

6a. Bum and Wade Phillips are the only other father and son to win playoff games as head coaches. 

7. Super Bowl LIV also represents a redemptive opportunity for Kyle Shanahan, the target of significant criticism after the Atlanta Falcons — he was their offensive coordinator — infamously fumbled a 28-3 advantage to the Patriots in Super Bowl LI, Shanahan's final game before getting his current job.


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8. 49ers rookie DE Nick Bosa, who got the best of his cousin (Packers WR Jake Kumerow) Sunday, is one win away from earning the first professional title for the Bosa clan. Bosa's brother (Joey), father (John) and uncle (Eric Kumerow) all played in the NFL.

9. "How about ... Andy Reid!" The Chiefs coach has 221 NFL wins, including playoffs, most ever by a man who has not won the Super Bowl. Expect Reid, who guided the 2004 Eagles to Super Bowl XXXIX 15 years ago, to be a heavy sentimental favorite.

10. Kansas City's 50-year gap between Super Bowl appearances establishes a new record. 

10a. Jets fans simply cannot wait to break this one after their team just completed a 51st consecutive season without returning to Super Sunday.

11. Since the 49ers failed to draft Aaron Rodgers atop the 2005 draft, they've reached the Super Bowl twice. The Packers gave gone once in that same span.

12. San Francisco is also 3-0 against Rodgers in the playoffs.

13. Rodgers' record in NFC championship games dropped to 1-3, and he's lost in his past three appearances.

14. Rodgers now has 40 TD passes in 19 career playoff games.

14a. Brett Favre had 39 TD passes in 22 playoff starts for Green Bay.

15. Many NFL fans and media covering the league have some measure of Patriots fatigue. But how fun would a Tom Brady vs. Jimmy Garoppolo Super Bowl have been?

16. Instead, you're going to, uh, get two weeks of buildup toward the showdown between RBs Raheem Mostert and Damien Williams.

16a. Still, do any two players better exemplify the NFL's oft-told tale of perseverance? 

16b. Williams, an undrafted Dolphins castoff who essentially replaced Kareem Hunt a year ago, now has nine playoff TDs, tying Terrell Davis and Larry Fitzgerald for most in a player's first five postseason games.

16c. Mostert, cut by six teams before sticking in San Francisco in 2016, became the first player to rush for at least 200 yards and four touchdowns in a playoff game.


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16d. Mostert's 220 yards on the ground broke Colin Kaepernick's team record (181) for a postseason game.

16e. Only Hall of Famer Eric Dickerson, who ran for 248 yards in a 1985 divisional contest, has had a more productive playoff game on the ground than Mostert.

16f. Mostert is also the first to run for four TDs in a conference championship game.

16g. Given the apparent serious nature of RB Tevin Coleman's shoulder injury Sunday, Super Bowl LIV will likely be the first game Mostert will start in his NFL career.

16h. The 49ers have now run 89 times (89!) for 471 yards (471!) in their pair of playoff wins this year.

17. Remember when some were laughing at the Niners three years ago, when they lured John Lynch out of the broadcast booth to give him a six-year deal to be their general manager. Only Lynch, who now deserves an extension, should be laughing now.

18. In the first 27 postseason games in Chiefs history, they scored at least 31 points three times. In Kansas City's four playoff appearances with Mahomes, the club has managed at least 31 points each time, averaging 37.

19. Mahomes, the NFL's 2018 MVP, has done a great impression of presumptive 2019 MVP Lamar Jackson in these playoffs, rushing for a team-high 53 yards in each of Kansas City's wins.

19a. Mahomes' scintillating 27-yard TD run in the second quarter against Tennessee gave K.C. a lead it never relinquished. 


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Patrick Mahomes really did this. In the AFC title game.

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20. Who's more upset than State Farm? At least the rest of us will be spared what surely would have been an onslaught of those Rodgers-Mahomes commercials.


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