A San Francisco 49ers team that once sat at 3-5 with their postseason hopes appearing as a long shot amid a rugged NFC conference is now just a win away from their second Super Bowl appearance in the last three seasons.
A low-scoring outing that featured one of the best defensive (and special teams) performances of the season against the top-seeded Green Bay Packers reminded many of how dominant the 49ers team is heading into their third meeting of the season against a high-powered Los Angeles Rams squad.
Dan Hanzus of NFL.com put together his power rankings of the final four teams standing with a chance to hoist a Lombardi on Feb. 13, with the 49ers landing at No. 2 on his list.
Here's what Hanzus had to say about the 49ers:
These 49ers are a deeply resilient bunch. On Saturday night at Lambeau Field, San Francisco's special teams saved the day with two season-saving blocks -- one on a short field-goal attempt at the end of the first half, another on a fourth-quarter punt that produced the game-tying touchdown and sent the home fans at Lambeau Field into a zombie state. The Fred Warner-led Niners defense deserves credit for icing Aaron Rodgers in freezing temperatures, while Robbie Gould continues to prove himself as a playoff X-factor (20-for-20 all time in the postseason). The only thing standing in the way of a Super Bowl return is the Rams, whom the Niners have beaten six straight times.
"Hopefully I can see them again," George Kittle said with a smile after San Francisco won at SoFi Stadium in Week 18 to punch a playoff ticket. "Because that was a fun body-bag game."
The big tight end has his wish.
Here's a look at how Hanzus has the final four teams ranked heading into Championship Weekend:
- Kansas City Chiefs (Previous Rank: 3)
- San Francisco 49ers (Previous Rank: 7)
- Los Angeles Rams (Previous Rank: 8)
- Cincinnati Bengals (Previous Rank: 6)