The 49ers' unexpected journey continues into the NFC Championship Game.And they will not have to board a plane to get there.The 49ers will play host to the New York Giants on Sunday at Candlestick Park at 3:30 p.m. with a trip to Super Bowl XLVI in Indianapolis going to the winner.It will be the 49ers' first appearance in the NFC title game in 14 years.
The 49ers advanced to the NFC Championship Game with an 36-32 victory Saturday over the New Orleans Saints. The lead changed hands four times in the final four minutes. Quarterback Alex Smith hit tight end Vernon Davis with a 14-yard touchdown pass with :09 remaining for the winning points.The Giants, the fourth seed in the NFC playoffs, earned the right to face the 49ers with a 37-20 victory over the top-seeded Green Bay Packers on Sunday at Lambeau Field. The Giants won the NFC East with a 9-7 record.The 49ers defeated the Giants 27-20 at Candlestick Park on Nov. 13. Defensive lineman Justin Smith batted down an Eli Manning fourth-down pass in the closing minute to preserve the 49ers' victory.The 49ers are 5-7 all-time in NFC Championship games. Their last appearance this deep in the playoffs was Jan. 11, 1998. The Packers defeated the 49ers 23-10 in the NFC title game to end Steve Mariucci's first season as coach.49ers results in NFC Championship games
(Year refers to the season)
1997: vs. Green Bay, L, 23-10
1994: vs. Dallas, W, 38-28
1993: at Dallas, L, 38-21
1992: vs. Dallas, L, 30-20
1990: vs. N.Y. Giants, L, 15-13
1989: vs. L.A. Rams, W, 30-3
1988: at Chicago, W, 28-3
1984: vs. Chicago, W, 23-0
1983: at Washington, L, 24-21
1981: vs. Dallas, W, 28-27
1971: at Dallas, L, 14-3
1970: vs. Dallas, L, 17-10
Ken Norton Jr.'s stay with the 49ers lasted about one week.
Last Monday, the 49ers hired Norton as the assistant head coach - defense/inside linebackers. But now, he's going to exercise an opt-out in his contract in order to return to the Seahawks to become the defensive coordinator.
Originally reported by the NFL Network and KING 5 News in Seattle, 49ers head coach Kyle Shanahan confirmed to NBC Sports Bay Area the news that Norton was given permission to leave.
"Last week, Ken was presented with an opportunity to once again coordinate a defense. Because of how we feel about Ken as a coach, we understand and respect his desire to pursue the position," Shanahan said.
Serving as Jack Del Rio's defensive coordinator in Oakland, Norton was fired by the Raiders on Nov. 21. Norton coached the Seattle linebackers from 2010 through 2014.
This past week, Norton sat down with NBC Sports Bay Area to discuss his relationship with 49ers defensive coordinator Robert Saleh and shared his thoughts on Reuben Foster.
Jimmy Garoppolo is no longer his backup, but the 49ers quarterback should still be cheering for Tom Brady to win another Super Bowl.
Well, at least his wallet should.
Garoppolo earns a big payday if the Patriots win two more games. If the Patriots make it to the Super Bowl, Garoppolo can add $56,000 and another $56,000 if New England wins it all.
The Patriots play the winner of Jaguars vs Steelers in their seventh straight AFC Championship Game.
The 26-year-old finished up the last year of his rookie deal this season. He signed a four-year, $3,483,898 contract when the Patriots drafted him in 2014. Garoppolo made a base salary of $434,158 in 2017.
After leading the 49ers to five straight wins as the team's starting quarterback, the team is expected to try to sign Garoppolo to a long-term contract or give him the franchise tag is negotiations hit a snag.