The Kyle Shanahan-led San Francisco 49ers hosted the NFC Championship for the first time since 2011 last year. Unlike the 2020 NFL season, the Levi’s Stadium was buzzing with fans in a pre-covid bonanza in the Bay on this day last year.
The 49ers ended the regular season with a 13-3 record. 3 players (TE George Kittle. DT DeForest Buckner and CB Richard Sherman) from their roster made the NFL All-Pro team. But it was a certain under-the-radar running back named Raheem Mostert, who stole the show in front of a legion of 49ers’ fans.
Matt LaFleur’s Green Bay Packers arrived in the NFC Championship game with an identical regular-season record as the 49ers. It was his first year as a Head Coach in the NFL and a debut in the post-season as well.
The veteran Aaron Rodgers was firing on all cylinders as he set sights on a potential run at the Super Bowl LIV trophy. But Mostert had other plans.
The Packers started on a strong note in front of rival fans at the Levi’s Stadium. They made their way to a solid 7-point lead at the end of the opening quarter. But it was all San Francisco from there.
Mostert went on to rush for a career-high 220 yards and 4 touchdowns on 29 carries in the next 3 quarters. The 49ers scored 20 in the 2nd as they sealed a 37-20 win. In doing so, they confirmed a spot in the Super Bowl LIV game against eventual winners, Kansas City Chiefs.
“Still surreal,” Mostert told NFL Network after the game. “I can’t believe that I’m in this position right now, and I did the things that I did tonight.”
Mostert became the only player in the league’s history with at least 200 rush yards and at least 4 rushing touchdowns in a playoff game. Raheem also set the 49ers franchise records for rushing touchdowns and rushing yards in a playoff game. He surpassed former QB Colin Kaepernick (181) for the latter.