49ers legend and Hall of Fame quarterback Steve Young knows a bit about winning at an elite level, and he’s also no stranger to the advantages of having a mobile quarterback.
Young, a seven-time Pro Bowler, was also a skilled runner, and he has a 5.9 per rush career average, which is tops on the 49ers’ all-time list. Young finished his career with 43 rushing touchdowns, and he led the league in passing six different seasons.
When dissecting the upcoming NFC Championship game between the 49ers and the Green Bay Packers, Young had some strong words about what it would take for Aaron Rodgers and company to win.
“Whatever they have been doing to win games recently? No. Not enough. It’s not,” Young said in reference to the recent play of the Packers. “They will get mauled again. They have got to put Aaron Rodgers with a Superman Cape, and they have to put doubt into that front four that they don’t know exactly where Aaron is going to be. They need to run him out of the backfield. Like Lamar Jackson for a couple of times,” Young said, referring to San Francisco’s December 1 loss to the Baltimore Ravens.
Lamar Jackson ran for 101 yards and a score in the Ravens 20-17 win, and Young thinks Green Bay will need to employ a similar strategy with Rodgers in the NFC Championship game.
Steve Young on NFC Championship Game: Aaron Rodgers Must Run
Young gave credit where credit is due when speaking about Rodgers, noting the Packer quarterback’s unique skill set would allow him to take off while still making plays from the pocket.
“Like literally, just put the ball into his hands and let him run 5-10 more yards and put doubt into this defense because if they don’t they will get beat and it really … the only guy that can do that and put that doubt and launch the ball from different places and move the pocket and create space is Aaron Rodgers, one of the best of all time. And to me, to not have … Aaron Rodgers run the football and think that you’re going to beat the San Francisco 49ers the way they are playing right now — It ain’t happening.”
When the 49ers and Packers met during the regular season back in late November, the Niners defense held Rodgers to 104 yards passing, and their front seven were a constant presence in Green Bay’s backfield, sacking Rodgers five times in a dominating 37-8 win.
49ers head coach Kyle Shanahan is not expecting another game like the previous one, telling ESPN this week that the Niners dominating win earlier in the season has “zero relevance” on their NFC Championship showdown.