Bengals defeat Titans on FG as time expires, 19-16
ROBBIE Gould booted a 45-yard field goal (FG) into the snow as time expired to give the San Francisco (SF) 49ers a 13-10 victory over the host Green Bay (GB) Packers in an National Football Conference (NFC) divisional round playoff game on Saturday night.
Talanoa Hufanga scored the lone San Francisco touchdown on a blocked punt return nearly five minutes earlier as the sixth-seeded 49ers stunned the top-seeded Packers in frigid conditions. Nick Bosa and Arik Armstead registered two sacks each for San Francisco.
The 49ers will face either the Tampa Bay Buccaneers or Los Angeles Rams in next week’s NFC title game.
Aaron Jones compiled 170 scrimmage yards (129 receiving, 41 rushing) and AJ Dillon rushed for a touchdown for Green Bay.
The Packers led 10-3 late in the game before Jordan Willis blocked Corey Bojorquez’s punt with his left hand. The ball caromed high in the air and when it came down, Hufanga scooped it up and ran 6 yards for the touchdown with 4:41 left.
San Francisco’s defense held and the 49ers got the ball back. The key play on the decisive drive was when Deebo Samuel picked up nine yards on a third-and-7 run to get the 49ers into field-goal position at the Green Bay 29 with just under a minute left.
Three plays later, Gould split the uprights to improve to 20 of 20 lifetime in the postseason.
Jimmy Garoppolo was just 11-of-19 passing for 131 yards and an interception for the 49ers, who were outgained 263-212.
Aaron Rodgers completed 20 of 29 passes for 225 yards for the Packers. Davante Adams caught nine passes for 90 yards, Rashan Gary had two sacks and Adrian Amos had an interception.
The temperature was 13 degrees (felt like 2) at kickoff and field conditions worsened considerably in the fourth quarter.
San Francisco finally got on the scoreboard on Gould’s 29-yard field goal with 8:13 left in the third quarter.
Mason Crosby kicked a 33-yard field goal with 11:27 left in the game to give the Packers a 10-3 lead.
The Packers navigated 69 yards on 10 plays to open the game with Dillon scoring on a 6-yard run.
San Francisco didn’t notch its initial first down until George Kittle made a stellar 15-yard reception with 6:29 left in the half.
The Packers failed to pad their lead as Crosby’s 39-yard field-goal attempt was blocked by Jimmie Ward as time expired in the first half.
Meanwhile, the Cincinnati Bengals relied on the foot of their rookie kicker to continue their Cinderella season.
Evan McPherson kicked a 52-yard field goal as time expired to propel the visiting Bengals to a berth in the American Football Conference (AFC) Championship Game, courtesy of a 19-16 victory over the Tennessee Titans on Saturday in Nashville, TN.
Ryan Tannehill tossed his third interception after linebacker Logan Wilson reeled in a deflected ball at Cincinnati’s 47-yard line with 20 seconds to play. Joe Burrow connected with rookie Ja’Marr Chase on a 19-yard strike, and McPherson came on three plays later to drill his fourth field goal of the game.
“This is a kicker’s dream, to have the game on your shoulder,” McPherson said after sending the Bengals to the AFC title game for the first time since the 1988 season.
Cincinnati will visit the winner of Sunday’s divisional-round game between the Buffalo Bills and Kansas City Chiefs on Jan. 30. The Bengals posted a 34-31 win over visiting Kansas City on Jan. 2. They did not face Buffalo this season. — Reuters