Christian McCaffrey’s second TD leads 49ers to 24-21 playoff win over Jordan Love and the Packers


SANTA CLARA, Calif. (AP) — Christian McCaffrey scored his second touchdown on a 6-yard run with 1:07 minutes remaining and the San Francisco 49ers completed their first comeback of the second half of the season to defeat the Green Bay Packers 24–0. -21 in Saturday night’s divisional-round playoff game.

After spending all regular season as the front-runner, the Niners (13-5) needed to come from behind for a change, and Brock Purdy and McCaffrey scored on the last drive to send San Francisco to its third consecutive NFC Championship Game. Tried enough to. The Niners will host the winner of Sunday’s game between Tampa Bay and Detroit next weekend for a spot in the Super Bowl.

Purdy went 6 for 7 for 47 yards on the decisive drive, throwing a third down to Brandon Aiyuk and then a 17-yard pass to Chris Conley.

McCaffrey ended it with his run on third-and-short and the 49ers’ defense continued from there, with Dre Greenlaw intercepting Jordan Love for the second time to ensure San Francisco’s fifth consecutive playoff win over Green Bay (10-9) .

That last throw to his body was one of a few mistakes by Love, who gave the Packers the lead with two TD passes in the third quarter. But his first full season as the starter in place of Aaron Rodgers had a disappointing end.

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Love had put the Niners in the unusual position of playing from behind. Green Bay converted a third-and-15 when Embry Thomas was called for a 41-yard pass interference call against Bo Melton. Love and Melton then connected for a wide-open 19-yard touchdown on the next play, aided by Tashawn Gipson slipping on wet turf in coverage.

McCaffrey gave San Francisco the lead again with a 39-yard TD run, then Green Bay struck back quickly thanks to All-Pro Keysean Nixon’s 73-yard kick return, which he fumbled, but teammate Eric Wilson recovered.

Four plays later, Love threw a 2-yard touchdown pass to Tyler Craft and the Packers increased the lead to 21–14 on a 2-point conversion pass to Aaron Jones.

The Niners were the first team in 13 seasons to make the playoffs without coming off a second-half win.

They got a 52-yard field goal from Jake Moody on the first play of the fourth quarter, making the game four points, and it stayed there when rookie Anders Carlson missed a 41-yard field goal for Green Bay.

The Packers moved the ball easily in the first half and started the game by reaching the red zone on three straight drives. But they couldn’t complete any of them, setting up for two field goals and being stopped on fourth-and-1. They became the first team in 20 years to reach the red zone on their first three drives of a playoff game without scoring a TD.

It cost the Niners when Purdy hit George Kittle on a 32-yard pass for a rushing TD that gave San Francisco the lead.

But San Francisco missed another chance at the end of the half when coach Kyle Shanahan ran out of time before settling on Moody’s 48-yard field goal attempt, which was intercepted by Colby Wooden to give the Niners a 7–6 lead at the half. Sent in.

Packers: RT Zach Tom left in the third quarter to check out a head injury and did not return.

49ers: WR Deebo Samuel injured his shoulder on the opening drive and missed most of the game.

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