It didn’t take long for Jaquiski Tartt of the San Francisco 49ers to take to Twitter after the final seconds wilted away into the snow flurries at Lambeau Field.
At 8:15 p.m. PT, to be exact. The tweet the safety sent out was:
Tartt and the 49ers advanced on in the NFC playoffs, defeating the conference’s top seed the Green Bay Packers 13-10 on Saturday, January 22.
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And it was a game where the 49ers never led…until the final four seconds of the game courtesy of Robbie Gould:
The reactions filled the social media website like the snow that covered the legendary venue. Here’s some of the notable posts regarding Saturday’s pulsating road win that advances the ‘Niners into the NFC championship game.
Jimmy G Drops S-Bomb in Excitement
Jimmy Garoppolo clearly couldn’t contain his excitement after the win — dropping an expletive in front of safety Talanoa Hufanga who was holding up his phone celebrating the win (NSFW disclaimer):
Unfortunately for Garoppolo, he finished with subpar numbers (11-of-19, 131 yards) and once again threw an interception — which this time occurred inside the red zone before halftime.
Garoppolo’s longest pass ate up just 24 yards on a George Kittle connection. He also endured a rough night behind the pocket with four sacks — all on third downs. It was his worst protection game since the November 7, 2021 home loss to the Arizona Cardinals which was a five-sack day at Levi’s Stadium.
Garoppolo, however, orchestrated a climatic nine-play, 44-yard drive that set up the Gould walk-off winner. During that drive, Garappolo hit a 12-yarder to Kittle and a 14-yard strike to Deebo Samuel.
And for the second time since January 2020, Garoppolo and the 49ers are heading to the NFC title game together.
Special Teams Play Becomes Toast of the Night
Along with Garoppolo, the 49ers’ special teams unit was widely criticized throughout the season. And before the trip to Wisconsin, this unit hadn’t had a single game that featured a blocked field goal and blocked punt…
First, Jimmie Ward knifed through the Packers’ field goal unit to close out the first half with a field goal block.
Former NFL player Will Blackmon, who played some special teams along with defensive back in his 12-year career, pointed out how Ward smartly followed the hand swipe along the line of scrimmage that allowed Ward to cut through.
Ward added via David Lombardi of The Athletic that his special teams coach Richard Hightower discovered a weakness along the Pack’s field goal team that they were ready to attack.
But that wasn’t the only game-changing moment on special teams.
Jordan Willis penetrated and got his left hand out just enough to block the punt. What followed next was the rookie Hufanga tying the game up.
Two blocks. One denying three points, the other turning into six. Saturday’s game was the reminder: Special teams matter. It was the exact message NFL Australia sent on Twitter:
Head coach Kyle Shanahan believed in his special teams unit all along, saying via 95.7 FM the Game “We said it on Tuesday, we thought our special teams had an advantage…And that they could win us this game.”
And the 49er who kicked the winning points? He summed up the win in three words:
49er Legends React to Win
Patrick Willis knows a thing about winning at Lambeau in frosty conditions and in the playoffs: The linebacker was on the 2013 49ers team that beat Green Bay in the wildcard round.
The Hall of Fame candidate lauded the special teams play and win online.
Former 49ers defensive tackle Bryant Young, also a Hall of Fame candidate, called the game an incredible win and joined Willis in praising the special teams.
He also added Gould praise:
Meanwhile Merton Hanks, who played safety on the 49ers’ last Super Bowl winning team of 1994, called his team the “Nor Cal Bullies.”
Another beloved safety from 49ers’ lore, Ronnie Lott, posted two tweets on the game:
Finally, the legendary wide receiver himself Jerry Rice needed just one word and an emoji to sum up his reaction to the game: