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Rapid Reactions: 49ers Advance to NFC Championship 

Michael Zagaris/San Francisco 49ers/Getty Images

The San Francisco 49ers advance to the NFC Championship after a nail-biting 19-12 defensive victory against the Dallas Cowboys.

Veterans with Clutch Plays

Until 49ers running back Christian McCaffrey had a fourth-quarter rushing touchdown, all of the previous scoring came from 40-year-old kicker Robbie Gould. Gould was responsible for 12 of the 19 points, as he was perfect on the day. To set up Gould in range, the 49ers relied on tight end George Kittle with 95 receiving yards, who would always make the play in crunch time. Meanwhile, it was the opposite for Dallas as kicker Brett Maher struggled to start the game and was not used until the second half. Along with tight end Dalton Schultz having costly errors in the waning seconds to seal the game.

Defensive Masterclass

Potential head coach hirings in Cowboys defensive coordinator Dan Quinn and 49ers defensive coordinator Demeco Ryans called brilliant games on both sides. Both defenses shut down the opposing offenses as both teams had to earn every yard. Quinn will go on to interview for a head coaching vacancy as Ryans will prepare his defense for an NFC Championship matchup against the high-flying Philadelphia Eagles. 

Mr. Irrelevant Continues to do Enough

49ers quarterback Brock Purdy out-dueled Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott as Purdy minimized his mistakes and didn’t turnover the ball. Purdy remains undefeated as a starter and will face another tough defense in the NFC Championship. Meanwhile, Prescott threw two interceptions that would prove costly after his impressive outing in the Wild Card. Purdy finished the game with 214 yards and continues to impress the league with his poise in handling the moment.

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