Bengals, 49ers stun top seed, make conference championship game

Robbie Gould continued his playoff perfection, and a 45-yard field goal put the San Francisco 49ers for the second-best spot in three seasons on Saturday night when time expired in a 13-10 win over Green Bay. A step back in the Super Bowl.

On a snowy field, Gould’s kick knocked down the top-seeded Packers and possibly ended Aaron Rodgers’ tenure at Green Bay.

49ers (12-7) continue their playoff hexagon against Rodgers and advance to NFC title game on Jan. 30 at Tampa Bay Buccaneers (14-4) or Los Angeles Rams (13-5) . Those teams play in Tampa on Sunday.

Rodgers trailed 0-4 in a career playoff game against the 49ers. San Francisco beat the Packers 37-20 in the NFC championship game two seasons ago, then lost to the Kansas City Chiefs 31-20 in the Super Bowl.

The Packers (13-5) won the top seed in the NFC for the second straight season, but again failed to make it to the big game as the 49ers went unanswered with 10 points in the final five minutes.

San Francisco tied the game with 4:41 remaining, the Packers’ biggest weakness all season, thanks to a Green Bay Specials turnover.

Jordan Willis’ outstretched left hand blocked the punt from Coribo Yoquez, who was kicking from the front of his end zone. Talanoa Hufanga caught the ball at the 6-yard line and ran in to make it 10-10.

After the Packers 3-pointer out, the 49ers pulled the ball back for 29 points and drove into shooting range with 3:20 left. Deebo Samuel made a 9-yard run on the 38th and 8th in Green Bay, and the 49ers set up Gould day and night.

AJ Dillon’s 6-yard touchdown on the game’s opening possession completed a 69-yard drive to give the Packers a 7-0 lead. After that, Green Bay’s offense didn’t do much.

The tee was 14 degrees and the wind chill was zero, making it the fifth coldest postseason in Lambeau Field history. The second half was played in heavy snow.

Bengals 19, Titans 16

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Cincinnati just came out of a postseason drought with a recent win that gave the Bengals their first AFC title game in 33 years.

Over time, rookie Evan McPherson kicked a 52-yard field goal to lift the fourth-seeded Bengals over the top-seeded Tennessee Titans, ending the NFL’s longest active away playoff slide.

A week after ending a 31-year postseason win drought, the Bengals (12-7) finally won their first road game of the playoffs after losing their first seven games. They won the 1981 and 1988 Super Bowls at home.

The Bengals intercepted Ryan Tannehill three times to set up two of McPherson’s four field goals. Logan Wilson selected Tannehill with 20 seconds left in Cincinnati’s 47 games. Joe Burrow hit Pro Bowl rookie receiver Jamal Chase with a 19-yard pass, then the Bengals ran two to help McPherson win.

Burrow escaped being fired nine times as Tennessee tied the four other teams for the most in the playoffs. The Bengals’ second-year quarterback threw for 348 yards and Chase finished with a 109-yard catch.

The Titans (12-6) ended their 25th season in Tennessee with their third straight loss on their own field as the AFC’s No. 1 seed. They haven’t won at home since the January 2003 playoffs.

Tennessee’s Derrick Henry, the 2020 AP NFL Offensive Player of the Year, missed nine games with a foot injury. He ran for a touchdown and finished for 66 yards.

Copyright © 2022 The Washington Times, LLC.

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