49ers write latest chapter in list of clutch playoff wins; Packers suffer fifth loss in recent times with late lead

The top-seeded San Francisco 49ers’ fifth consecutive playoff win over the seventh-seeded Green Bay Packers, a 24-21 rollercoaster of a contest in the NFC Divisional Round, continued a trend of clutch play for the 49ers come playoff time and another run. Late-game playoff misery for the Packers.

Both franchises have combined for 37 playoff wins, tied with the New England Patriots for the most in NFL history, but their recent trips to the postseason couldn’t be more different. The 49ers will appear in their fourth NFC Championship Game in the last five seasons, while the Packers suffered their fifth-most playoff loss in the NFL after blowing a lead in the final five minutes.

Saturday night against the 49ers was the second consecutive postseason game with such a loss for Green Bay. The Packers led 21–17 with just over six minutes left in Saturday night’s game, but after rookie kicker Anders Carlson attempted a field goal from the left sideline, the 49ers marched down the field and Scored the go-ahead touchdown on a six-yard Christian run. McCaffrey reached the end zone with 67 seconds left to play. Jordan Love’s interception on the following drive ended his hopes of a comeback.

Green Bay dropped the two teams’ most recent meeting at Lambeau Field before this season by a score of 13–10, when the Packers were the NFC’s top seed, and San Francisco was the sixth seed. They led 10–3 for most of the fourth quarter, but then with 4:41 left in the game a blocked punt was returned for a touchdown by 49ers safety Talanoa Hufanga, tying the game. San Francisco’s then-kicker Robbie Gould drilled the game-winning 45-yard field goal as time expired, making it both Aaron Rodgers and Davante Adams’ final postseason game with the Packers.

Other Green Bay postseason face plants include several head-scratching losses with a lead in the final five minutes. The 2015 season ended in a thrilling 26–20 NFC Divisional Round loss to the Arizona Cardinals in which they led 13–10 late and then had back-to-back Hail Mary passes to reach OT before the coin toss to Rodgers. The offense needed to deliver and not touch the ball in their overtime period.

The postseason loss was recorded by both Rodgers and former Packers head coach Mike McCarthy as their worst playoff memory: a 28–22 overtime loss to the Seattle Seahawks in the NFC Championship Game of the 2014 season. The Packers led 19–7 late, but tight end Brandon Bostick’s failed onside kick recovery opened the door for the Seahawks to take the lead late before Rodgers would not touch the ball in overtime.

The only previous loss from the Rodgers era is a 20–17 overtime loss to the Philadelphia Eagles in the 2003 NFC Divisional Round. The Packers took a 17–14 lead on a 21-yard Ryan Longwell field goal with 10:22 remaining, but then they could not move the football the rest of the game. The Eagles tied the contest with a 37-yard David Akers field goal with five seconds remaining in regulation. Green Bay began overtime with the ball, but Brett Favre threw one of his patented, late-career postseason interceptions on a pass intended for receiver Javon Walker, which was picked off by Hall of Fame safety Brian Dawkins. Was. Philadelphia then drove down the field before Akers connected on the game-winning 31-yard field goal.

Most playoff losses with a lead in the last five minutes
(since 2000)

PACKERS

5*

Patriot

4

colts

4

* 2003 in PHI, 2014 in SEA, 2015 in ARI, 2021 in VS SF, 2023 in SF

As for the winless 49ers, his win Saturday night marked the seventh in team history in which he scored a game-winning touchdown in the final two minutes of the game. The 24–21 victory against the Packers joins an illustrious and rich 49ers clutch playoff history list that begins with “The Catch” by wide receiver Dwight Clark against the Dallas Cowboys in the 1981 NFC Conference Championship Game. The list also includes a recent moment such as Alex Smith’s game-winning, 14-yard touchdown pass to Vernon Davis with nine seconds left to play in a 36–32 NFC Divisional Round victory over Drew Brees and New York in the 2011 season. Orleans Saints.

49ers’ game-winning touchdown in the final two minutes
in playoff history

2023 Divisional Round vs GB

Christian McCaffrey 6-yard run

2011 Divisional Round vs. No.

Vernon Davis 14-yard race

2002 Wild Card Round vs. NYG

Tai Streets 13-Yd Rec

1998 Wild Card Round vs GB

Terrell Owens 25-Yd Rec

Super Bowl XXIII vs. CIN

John Taylor 10-Yard Race

1983 Divisional Round vs. Det.

Freddy Solomon 14-yard race

1981 Conference Championship vs. DAL

Dwight Clark 6-Yd Rec

The 49ers will host the winner of Sunday’s Tampa Bay Buccaneers in the Detroit Lions Showdown in the NFC Championship Game on January 28 at 6:30 p.m. ET while the Packers’ 2023 season once again ended with a heartbreaking stumble.

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