49ers

Kyle Shanahan knows 49ers' Week 12 blowout of Packers doesn't matter

Kyle Shanahan knows 49ers' Week 12 blowout of Packers doesn't matter

It all started just one minute, 58 seconds into the game.

Fred Warner came on a blitz and stripped Aaron Rodgers of the ball a split-second before the QB's knee was down. The ball rolled free. Nick Bosa picked it up and was tackled.

On the next play, Tevin Coleman scored on a 2-yard run.

And the rout was on.

The 49ers thrashed the Green Bay Packers, 37-8, on Nov. 24 at Levi’s Stadium. It was a complete and thorough display of domination that included historically low production from Rodgers and the Packers’ passing game.

The teams meet again Sunday in the NFC Championship Game, and 49ers coach Kyle Shanahan has a message to his team to ward off the thought it is going to be as easy this time around.

“Don’t be that stupid,” Shanahan said on Monday.

The 49ers led 7-0 after running just one offensive play. They took a 10-0 after cashing in on a second chance when a third-down sack of Jimmy Garoppolo was wiped out by an illegal-hands penalty.

The 49ers’ defensive line feasted on fill-in right tackle Alex Light, who entered the game when starter Bryan Bulaga left after nine snaps due to a knee injury.

Rodgers completed 20 of 33 passes for just 104 yards -- setting a record for fewest passing yards by a quarterback with at least 20 completions. His 3.15 yards per attempt is the lowest of his career.

Green Bay has won six consecutive games since that night, including a 28-23 victory over the Seattle Seahawks on Sunday in the divisional round of the NFC playoffs.

“We know it’ll be different,” Shanahan said. “That game got away from them early, and that’s definitely not the team we’re going to see this week. Everyone knows how good Green Bay is, how good their coaching staff is, how good their players are, how good their quarterback is.

“I think that game really holds zero relevance to what’s going to happen this Sunday.”

Shanahan said there are plenty of examples throughout the NFL of how a team that gets blown out can rebound with a victory over the same opponent in the same season.

In 2015, the Carolina Panthers were undefeated. They beat the Atlanta Falcons, 38-0, on Dec. 13. Shanahan was the Falcons’ offensive coordinator that season. When the teams met against just two weeks later, the Falcons pulled off a 20-13 upset victory.

Shanahan said he is not concerned about his team entering Sunday’s game taking the Packers lightly. After all, the stakes are the same for both teams: A trip to Super Bowl 54 in Miami is on the line.

[RELATED: How Kyle Shanahan matched Bill Walsh]

“The game before never matters like that,” Shanahan said. “There are four teams left and it’s four very, very good teams. It’s going to be a hard game for all of us.

“Also, our players, the type of guys they are, the way they’ve been all year, I’m not concerned about that. They’ll have to answer that question, I’m sure, a lot, but I don’t think that’ll be a worry for our players, which means it won’t be for me.”

Programming note: NBC Sports Bay Area feeds your hunger for 49ers playoff coverage with special editions of “49ers Central” all week (6 p.m. Tuesday and Thursday; 8 p.m. Wednesday and Friday)

Also tune in at 2:30 p.m. Sunday for “49ers Pregame Live,” with Laura Britt, Jeff Garcia, Donte Whitner, Ian Williams and Grant Liffmann previewing the NFC Championship Game against the Packers. That same crew will have all the postgame reaction on “49ers Postgame Live,” starting at approximately 5:30 p.m.

NFL rumors: League seeks to add seventh playoff team in each conference

NFL rumors: League seeks to add seventh playoff team in each conference

The NFL’s playoff structure is expected to change to reportedly include seven teams in both conferences to advance to the postseason.

The current proposal, according to ESPN’s Adam Schefter, would add one playoff team in each conference and only the top seed in the AFC and NFC would be rewarded with byes in the first round of the playoffs.

The changes to the playoff format would take effect this season when the new collective bargaining agreement is ratified. ESPN reports there is “mounting optimism” the new CBA will be agreed upon within the week.

Through last season, the top six teams in both conferences made the playoffs. If the playoff proposal had been in effect last season, the Los Angeles Rams and Pittsburgh Steelers would have advanced to the playoffs as the Nos. 7 seeds.

As the No. 1 seed in the NFC, the 49ers would have still earned a first-round bye in the playoffs. But the Green Bay Packers, the No. 2 seed, would have played in the extra game against the Rams. If the Rams were to have upset the Packers in the wild-card round, the 49ers would have played Los Angeles in the NFC Divisional Playoff instead of the Minnesota Vikings.

But the new proposal would have had an even more major impact in the AFC, where the Kansas City Chiefs would have been forced to win three games in the playoffs just to advance to the Super Bowl.

"That's been agreed to for a long time," one source familiar with the CBA talks told ESPN about the NFL's new playoff structure. "There wasn't a lot of disagreement to that issue."

[RELATED49ers roster analysis: More receiver depth needed around Deebo Samuel]

Players on the top team in each conference will receive postseason pay for the bye weekend, unlike years past, according to the report.

Also, ESPN reported that the sides are also trying to work through a proposal for a 17-game regular season, while the exhibition season is shortened to three games. The earliest that change could occur would be the 2021 season, according to the report.

Deebo Samuel pleas for 49ers to re-sign Emmanuel Sanders in free agency

Deebo Samuel pleas for 49ers to re-sign Emmanuel Sanders in free agency

Before the 49ers officially had lost Super Bowl LIV to the Kansas City Chiefs, tight end George Kittle was already preaching they would be back next year.

But it didn't stop with him.

49ers players throughout the roster already are thinking of everything they can do to make another run at it, and that includes bringing back free-agent receiver Emmanuel Sanders.

Fellow wideout Deebo Samuel made it clear Wednesday on Twitter that he wants to see the 49ers bring back the 32-year-old veteran.

Sanders showed his appreciation later Wednesday morning.

After coming over from the Denver Broncos via trade in October, Sanders excelled with the 49ers. He caught 36 passes for 502 yards and three touchdowns in the regular season, and added five receptions for 71 yards in the postseason.

But Sanders could have been an even more critical part of 49ers lore, had it not been for Jimmy Garoppolo's overthrown pass with less than two minutes remaining in Super Bowl LIV. But it was not meant to be.

Sanders has been open about his love for the team that had just barely missed the championship and has spoken out about those second-guessing him due to his age. 

The receiver laughed at the fact that he has been "flying past 23-year-olds," and exhorted that he still has plenty of good years left in him.

[RELATED: Sanders offers advice to teammates playing in first Super Bowl]

He also embraced the youth the other wide receivers brought to the team, such as Samuel and Kendrick Bourne. Sanders loved the loose vibes of the 49ers' locker room and assisted the younger players in prepping for the big moments of the Super Bowl. 

Deebo surely noticed that and knows he wants his teammate back for the team's quest to make another Super Bowl run next season.