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San Francisco 49ers Special Teams Spark 13-10 Upset Of Green Bay Packers To Advance To NFC Championship Game

GREEN BAY (CBS SF) -- San Francisco's often-maligned special teams blocked a field goal, blocked a punt that led to a touchdown and won the game on a 45-yard field goal by Robbie Gould as time ran out to lift San Francisco to a 13-10 victory over the Green Bay Packers to earn a spot in next week's NFC Championship Game.

San Francisco will now play the winner of Sunday's Los Angeles Rams-Tampa Bay Bucs game.

"It's dangerous, man. When a team gets hot, it's dangerous," said 49ers quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo. "So we've just got to keep this thing going, focus on next week now, and keep this thing rolling."

The 49ers offense opened in a deep freeze much like the near zero game time temperatures. They had a minus-10 yards in their first four series, three of which included third-down sacks. It was the first time the 49ers had opened a game with four straight three-and-outs since a 27-24 loss to the Minnesota Vikings on Sept. 27, 2009.

But San Francisco's defense and special teams took control of the game. After yielding a touchdown to the Packers on their opening drive, the Packers offense was limited to just 3 points for the remaining three quarters.

Safety Jimmie Ward broke through the line to block Green Bay kicker Mason Crosby's 39-yard field goal attempt at the end of the first half while Jordan Willis' outstretched left hand blocked a punt by Corey Bojorquez, who was kicking from the front of his end zone, late in the fourth quarter. Talanoa Hufanga picked up the ball at the 6-yard line and ran it in to make it 10-10.

The 49ers offense then came to life on the final drive.

Garoppolo, who tossed an interception to kill a 49ers drive near the Green Bay end zone as time was counting down in the first half, completed over-the-middle passes of 12 yards to George Kittle and 14 yards to Deebo Samuel to move the ball into Green Bay territory.

On third-and-7 from the Packers' 38-yard line, Garoppolo took a shotgun snap and handed the ball off to Samuel on a draw. The gifted wide receiver-running back rolled his way to the 29-yard line.

The clock then ticked under 30 seconds. Elijah Mitchell ran up the middle and Kyle Juszczyk's run set up Gould's game winner. The veteran Gould has never missed a post-season field goal in the post season.

"I always trust Robbie. He's as good as gold, man," Garoppolo said. "He always is."

Former Cal star Aaron Rodgers dropped to 0-4 in career playoff matchups against the 49ers. San Francisco beat the Packers 37-20 in the NFC championship game two seasons ago before losing 31-20 to the Kansas City Chiefs in the Super Bowl.

© Copyright 2022 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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