The 49ers don't simply desire to run the ball down their opponent's throat. They live for it.
San Francisco tight end George Kittle and wide receiver Emmanuel Sanders conveyed as much during the 49ers' 37-20 beatdown of the Green Bay Packers in the NFC Championship Game at Levi's Stadium. That final score was a bit deceiving, though, as the Niners led 27-0 at halftime. San Francisco scored on its final possession of the first half after cornerback Emmanuel Moseley intercepted Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers in Green Bay territory. As the 49ers' offense came onto the field following the change in possession, Kittle and Sanders were licking their chops.
"We don't even have to catch the ball," Kittle said, as heard on"Inside the NFL." "We just gotta run."
"We ain't gotta do nothing," Sanders added. "I'm about to start manhandling their a-- in this run game right now. I'm about to start having fun with it."
Have fun with it, they did.
It only took three plays for the 49ers to hit pay dirt, all of which were handoffs to running back Raheem Mostert. He practically went untouched into the end zone, as his offensive line and receivers provided tremendous blocking.
The 49ers averaged the second-most rushing yards per game in the NFL during the regular season, and they've upped their per-game average by another 94.4 rushing yards through two playoff contests. When you're that good at running the ball, clearly it can be a whole lot of fun.
Programming note: NBC Sports Bay Area feeds your hunger for 49ers Super Bowl coverage with special editions of “49ers Central” all week (5:30 p.m. Monday and Wednesday; 8:00 p.m. Tuesday and Thursday; 6:00 p.m. Friday).