"75 for 75" is an article series from the 49ers Museum highlighting legendary moments in 49ers history as part of the team's 75th Anniversary celebrations in 2021.
January 19, 2020
RB Raheem Mostert looked like the second coming of Walter Payton in the 49ers 37-20 dismantling of the Green Bay Packers during the 2019 NFC Championship Game.
Levi's® Stadium provided its second-consecutive week of postseason magic as 72,211 fans, the largest home attendance in the 49ers 75-year history, watched San Francisco jump out to a 27-0 halftime lead behind a brutally potent ground attack.
Mostert, an undrafted free agent from Purdue, picked up 160 yards on 14 carries including touchdown runs of 36, 18 and 9 yards in the first 30 minutes of play. He added a 22-yard scoring dash in the third quarter, increasing the 49ers lead to 34-7.
Head coach Kyle Shanahan showered praise on the 49ers unsung running back in his postgame press conference. "The lanes that we saw and the way he was running, we just wanted to keep feeding him," Shanahan said. "Raheem is not someone who is going to come up and tell me a bunch during the game. I know he was feeling it and it wasn't too hard to see."
Mostert finished his incredible day with 220 yards on the ground, a 7.6 yard rushing average and four touchdowns. His rushing total was the second best in an NFL playoff game behind Rams Pro Football Hall of Famer Eric Dickerson's 248 in 1986. Mostert is the only NFL player with over 200 yards and four rushing touchdowns in a postseason game.
"You know, this scheme that we run, the outside zone and inside zone, it's been working for years," Mostert said. "The philosophy still transpires into what we run today. And you have to have vision in order to read the holes and read the gaps, and I worked on it."
With the running game firing on all cylinders, the 49ers passing attack remained silent. QB Jimmy Garoppolo threw just eight passes completing six for 77 yards. It was the first time since 1974 that a team won a playoff game with fewer than 10 pass attempts. Mostert and WR Deebo Samuel led the 49ers with two catches each.
Meanwhile, San Francisco's defense manhandled Green Bay QB Aaron Rodgers, posting three sacks. Two of the Packers first half possessions ended with quarterback takedowns. Two others ended with 49ers takeaways. Defensive tackle DeForest Buckner recovered a botched snap deep in 49ers territory to thwart a Packers scoring opportunity. An interception by defensive back Emmanuel Moseley led to Mostert's 18-yard scoring dash.
"We knew (the Packers) were going to come out with energy and come out giving us their best," Buckner said postgame. "But we had to shut it down early. We didn't want to let them have confidence early. I think we did a really good job with that, stopping the run early and getting after Aaron (Rodgers) a little bit. Especially in the first half, you could tell he was frustrated."
DL Nick Bosa put his stamp on the victory, recording three tackles and a 13-yard sack of Rodgers.
"You have to bring some exotic pressures on him," Bosa said of the Packers quarterback. "They have a really good O-Line in pass protection so you have to do a couple things to mix it up. I am glad that we got that lead in the first half because Rodgers is dangerous. I am just happy to be moving on."
DL Arik Armstead also notched a sack while DB K'Waun Williams registered a strip-sack of Rodgers for a nine-yard loss and seven tackles.
Late in the fourth quarter, DB Richard Sherman picked off Rodgers to seal the victory for the 49ers. It improved the 49ers postseason record at Levi's® Stadium to 2-0 and sent them to Super Bowl LIV in Miami to face the Kansas City Chiefs.
The raucous postseason crowd at Levi's@ Stadium caught the attention of coach Kyle Shanahan. "I love it here. I love Levi's® and I'm hoping our fans follow us to Miami."