Strong fourth quarter carries San Francisco 49ers past Green Bay Packers, into NFC championship


The 49ers won the game on a FG.

Gould's field goal gave the 49ers a 13-10 win over the Packers and a trip to the playoffs. It was 0: 43.

11:11 PM

The San Francisco 49ers are not going away.

The same Niners that were once a.500 team are headed to the playoffs for the second time in three seasons.

San Francisco had to pull out the type of late-game magic that has been a hallmark of its late-season surge to the playoffs. The Green Bay Packers were defeated by a 13-10 score at Lambeau Field on Saturday night.

After a disappointing offensive performance marked by drops, protection issues and costly missed throws, the Niners pieced together the drive they needed at the biggest moment with receiver Deebo Samuel taking a handoff 9 yards for a first down on third-and-7 at Green Bay's 38.

The game-winning field goal was set up by that run.

For a team that had won eight of its past 10 entering the game, this one might have required the most unpredictable contributions to make it happen.

The Niners put the special teams to work to overcome the Packers in a game they trailed for most of the first three and a half quarters.

The 49ers finally got points from a special teams unit that was often criticized in recent weeks as the team's biggest weakness.

On fourth-and-19 at Green Bay's 12, the Niners defensive end, nursing a high ankle injury, burst through the middle and blocked the punt. The ball was in the air before it hit the ground.

Hufanga ran 6 yards for the touchdown and Gould's extra point tied it at 10 with 4:41 to go.

It was the first blocked punt return for a touchdown by the 49ers and the second by the Packers. Green Bay is the first team in the last 20 years to have a punt and field goal blocked in the same game.

At the end of the first half and the beginning of the third quarter, the Niners had a blocked field goal and a kick return for a touchdown.