The 49ers have made it to the Super Bowl, but there were several stops along the way when that outcome didn't appear as likely. Yes, San Francisco was the No. 1 overall seed in the NFC, but only by the slimmest of margins.
Literally inches, you might recall.
Rookie linebacker Dre Greenlaw sealed the top seed for the 49ers -- and a first-round playoff bye -- with his clutch fourth-down stop on the goal line in the final seconds of San Francisco's Week 17 win over the Seattle Seahawks. It undoubtedly will go down as one of the most memorable plays in franchise history, but depending on who you ask, it wasn't even the biggest play of the current season.
There are a few additional contenders, but the most obvious would be tight end George Kittle's 39-yard catch-and-run on fourth-and-2 during the 49ers' game-winning drive to beat the New Orleans Saints in Week 14.
George Freakin’ Kittle 😱😱😱pic.twitter.com/y7ywfKYM2L— 49ers on NBCS (@NBCS49ers) December 8, 2019
Fullback Kyle Juszczyk was on the sideline for both plays, and recently offered his opinion as to which is the 49ers' play of the year.
"Two legendary plays ... season-defining plays, there," Juszczyk told 95.7 The Game's "Jo, Lo & Dibs" on Tuesday morning. "I'm an offensive guy, though, and I can't lie, when you started talking about the biggest play of the season, the first play that jumped to my mind was George's play in New Orleans, so I'm gonna give that one to George with Dre as a close second. Just two guys putting the team on their back and just willing the team to a win. So, both absolutely phenomenal plays."
Super Bowl LIV will mark the seventh straight Super Bowl featuring two top-two seeds, further indicating the benefit of a first-round bye. Both Kittle and Greenlaw's clutch plays absolutely were essential to the 49ers achieving that high seed, so really, it's impossible to say which was the play of the year, because San Francisco's season looks a whole lot different without both of them.
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).