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San Francisco 49ers quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo, left, and tight end George Kittle celebrate after the NFL NFC Championship football game against the Green Bay Packers Sunday, Jan. 19, 2020, in Santa Clara, Calif. The 49ers won 37-20 to advance to Super Bowl 54 against the Kansas City Chiefs. (AP Photo/Ben Margot)

49ers reach 7th Super Bowl appearance

The San Francisco 49ers are headed to Miami where they will face the Kansas City Chiefs in Super Bowl 54.

The 49ers beat the Green Bay Packers on Sunday 37-20 during the NFC Championship game. Their appearance in the Super Bowl marks their first since 2013. Currently, the 49ers are five for seven in Super Bowl victories based on their appearances.

Déjà vu Victory

San Francisco ran it back against the Packers on Sunday, shutting down Green Bay’s hopes of seeing their sixth Super Bowl. The game was reminiscent of the first meeting between the two teams earlier in the season.

During the first half, the San Francisco defense prevented Aaron Rodgers from gaining any ground, keeping Green Bay scoreless.  The breakout player of the night was Raheem Mostert. The running back for San Fran put up a career-high 220 yards and became the first player in a conference game to score four rushing touchdowns.

49ers coach Kyle Shanahan praising Mostert’s performance.

What Led Them Here?

Acquiring Jimmy Garoppolo from the Patriots in 2017 was an improvement to a struggling offense that is now paying off. To be fair, Garoppolo didn’t play a full season until nearly a year later before being benched with an ACL injury. Keeping a healthy quarterback was paramount in getting the 49ers to this position.

Due to a fierce ground game, Jimmy G has been able to take a more passive approach to his role. That doesn’t mean he should be overlooked though. His ability to sling the ball is rivaled by that of Drew Brees, as shown by his 349-yard, four touchdowns, comeback win against a solid New Orleans Saints team.

High-profile draft picks over the past couple of years have also contributed to stunning team composition. Tight end George Kittle was a fifth-round pick in 2017. Wide receiver Deebo Samuel made his presence known on offense with 961 yards and six touchdowns as a rookie.

High Hopes

It’s worth mentioning that San Francisco’s offensive assistant coach Katie Sowers will be making history as the first female and openly gay coach to appear at the Super Bowl. Under Coach Shanahan, Sowers has helped develop one of the best offensive units in the league. The 49ers ranked fourth in offense, finishing second in the regular season in rushing (144 yards a game).

The San Francisco 49ers will be meeting the Kansas City Chiefs on Sunday night, February 2 for Super Bowl LIV. Kickoff in Miami is set for 6:30 p.m.

 

 

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