The San Francisco 49ers showed great mental strength and grit to surprise the Green Bay Packers in the divisional round. The 49ers were 10-3 down midway through the quarter at Lambeau Field but they responded with 10 unanswered points to claim a 13-10 win.
49ers kicker Robbie Gould kicked a game-winning field goal as the time expired. "This team has been through a lot," San Francisco tight end George Kittle said, per ESPN. "We've been through a lot of adversity. We've dealt with a lot.
We've lost games by making mistakes. We've won games dirty. This is a gritty team. It's a salty team, and we just keep bouncing back." After the win over the Packers, 49ers quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo said the 49ers have everything that good teams have.
"We find ways, whether it's running, passing, defense stepping up big, special teams today," Garoppolo said. "That's what makes a good football team. That's what we are."
Special teams came up big for the San Francisco 49ers
With around five minutes left to play in the game, the 49ers special team unit blocked a punt from the Packers and returned the ball for a touchdown.
"We thought our special teams had an advantage in this game," San Francisco head coach Kyle Shanahan said. "We thought they had an opportunity to possibly win us the game. To be able to say that and to actually come to fruition and those guys pulled it off was huge for those guys and huge for our team." 49ers cornerback Jimmie Ward acknowledged the 49ers have had their struggles when it comes to special teams but he was happy the special teams delivered when it mattered the most.
"We struggled too [on special teams this season]," Ward said. "But that's the area where we knew we had to win the game at. We knew how the weather was going to be, even though it was great football weather. But we knew it was going to be hard for either team to score points."