EditorsNote: writethru; adds quotes and details
Teammates of Robbie Gould often say he is as good as ‘Gold’ on his field-goal attempts.
The 39-year-old veteran picked a fine time to prove that his last name fits the narrative.
Gould remained perfect in his postseason career by booting a 45-yard field goal into the snow as time expired to give the San Francisco 49ers a 13-10 victory over the host Green Bay Packers in an NFC divisional round playoff game on Saturday night.
Talanoa Hufanga scored the lone San Francisco touchdown on a blocked punt return nearly five minutes earlier as the sixth-seeded 49ers stunned the top-seeded Packers in frigid conditions. Nick Bosa and Arik Armstead registered two sacks each for San Francisco.
The 49ers will face either the Tampa Bay Buccaneers or Los Angeles Rams in next week’s NFC title game. It is San Francisco’s fifth appearance in the conference championship in the past 11 seasons.
Aaron Jones compiled 170 scrimmage yards (129 receiving, 41 rushing) and AJ Dillon rushed for a touchdown for Green Bay.
The Packers led 10-3 late in the game before Jordan Willis blocked Corey Bojorquez’s punt with his left hand. The ball caromed high in the air and when it came down, Hufanga scooped it up and ran six yards for the touchdown with 4:41 left.
San Francisco’s defense held and the 49ers got the ball back. The key play on the decisive drive was when Deebo Samuel picked up nine yards on a third-and-7 run to get the 49ers into field-goal position at the Green Bay 29 with just under a minute left.
Three plays later, Gould split the uprights to improve to 20 of 20 lifetime in the postseason. The Packers had just 10 men on the field for the game-ending kick.
“That’s unacceptable,” Green Bay coach Matt LaFleur said. “That’s on me.”
Gould said some new footgear helped him on the decisive kick on the frozen tundra.
“(A friend) owns a soccer shoe company in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, and he sent me new seven-stud cleats,” Gould said. “All my other cleats are from 15 years ago so I was due. Angelo, appreciate you buddy, I needed them on the last kick for sure.”
Jimmy Garoppolo was just 11-of-19 passing for 131 yards and an interception for the 49ers, who were outgained 263-212.
Despite the offensive issues, Garoppolo maintained his team never lost faith.
“It was a feeling that the defense was holding them, they couldn’t really do much offensively,” Garoppolo said. “We knew it was going to take just one drive ... it was a big team effort.”
Aaron Rodgers completed 20 of 29 passes for 225 yards for the Packers. Davante Adams caught nine passes for 90 yards, Rashan Gary had two sacks and Adrian Amos had an interception.
The Packers reached the NFC title game the past two seasons before losing. A year ago, Rodgers used the postgame interview to begin the drama about whether he would be back with the Packers.
The 38-year-old addressed the topic after Saturday’s setback.
“I’m gonna take some time and have conversations with the folks around here, and then take some time away and make a decision -- obviously before free agency,” Rodgers said in terms of whether he will return to Green Bay, seek a trade or retire.
LaFleur made it clear he wants Rodgers on the team in 2022.
“Certainly we want him back here,” LaFleur said. “I think we’d be crazy not to want him back here.”
The temperature was 13 degrees (felt like 2) at kickoff and field conditions worsened considerably in the fourth quarter.
San Francisco finally got on the scoreboard on Gould’s 29-yard field goal with 8:13 left in the third quarter.
Mason Crosby kicked a 33-yard field goal with 11:27 left in the game to give the Packers a 10-3 lead.
The Packers navigated 69 yards on 10 plays to open the game with Dillon scoring on a 6-yard run.
San Francisco didn’t notch its initial first down until George Kittle made a stellar 15-yard reception with 6:29 left in the half.
The Packers failed to pad their lead as Crosby’s 39-yard field-goal attempt was blocked by Jimmie Ward as time expired in the first half.
--Field Level Media