Why Cowherd believes 49ers check all boxes as playoff team

/ by Taylor Wirth
Presented By Toyota

The 49ers are rolling into the NFL playoffs with a lot of momentum. With the wind at their backs, another Super Bowl appearance isn't too far-fetched.

After upsetting the Los Angeles Rams in overtime Sunday at SoFi Stadium, the 49ers added to their list of current playoff teams they've beaten this season. 

FS1's Colin Cowherd believes the 49ers are well-positioned to make a deep playoff run because of such success against current playoff teams, and the boxes San Francisco checks. 

"If I just gave you four parameters," Cowherd said Monday on The Herd with Colin Cowherd. "And I said there's a football team out there that has four things: a really clever offensive coach in 2021-22, a quarterback who has won playoff games and is a veteran, super physical team on both sides of the ball and they've got some really, really good weapons. That's a playoff team. That's the Niners.

"They matched up with Green Bay, they had Green Bay beat, they swept the Rams, they beat the Bengals, they beat Philadelphia, they beat multiple playoff teams. They really got all the boxes checked."

Jimmy Garoppolo is as controversial of a quarterback as they come. Fans either adore him or they've already packed his bags for him in anticipation of a new era led by rookie QB Trey Lance. Cowherd, however, believes Garoppolo is the right player to lead the 49ers through the playoffs and believes he has the upper hand in comparison to another quarterback he is often compared to.


"I'll say this about Jimmy Garoppolo, I know he drives you all nuts and none of you like him," Cowherd added. "But I've said it a thousand times and I'll say it again. He's the opposite of Kirk Cousins. He's better in prime-time games, he's better with two minutes left, he's better with no timeouts. I don't know if it's just because he doesn't overthink it, he lets it rip, but that 88-yard, five-plays was so Jimmy Garoppolo."

The 49ers, in Cowherd's eyes, have it all. They have the talent, they have the coaching, but most importantly they have the physicality. When it matters most, the physical teams, the gritty teams are the ones who often come away victorious over the flashy, finesse teams.

"This is what a playoff team looks like, they look like San Francisco," Cowherd said. "Physical travels. I think they'll beat Dallas, I think physical teams travel, you can play at home and on the road. Pretty teams are good at home. Green Bay is good at home. Is Green Bay historically as good on the road if you look at their playoff record? They're not. They're pretty, and San Francisco is not.

"That's why Tennessee is a nightmare to play. Kansas City can do both, they can play physical or not physical. But you look at these teams like Tennessee, Philadelphia ... and San Francisco. This is what playoff teams look like. Good coaches, physical teams, can do multiple things well, they've got weapons and they've got a quarterback (such as a Tannehill or a Garoppolo), they've won playoff games."

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The 49ers will look to build on their late-season momentum in a wild-card weekend clash with the Dallas Cowboys Sunday at AT&T Stadium. A similar level of physicality will only create a mismatch in San Francisco's favor against a more flashy, finesse-style Cowboys team.

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