“It wasn’t a clinical performance by any stretch of the imagination, but the 49ers, after weeks of bullying teams on offense, leaned once again on their sterling defense.”
“Müller was dubbed the raumdeuter, which translates to “space investigator” or “space interpreter.”...The way he operated was unique. His role became the system of offense for the German national team, and his club team, Bayern Munich. He fundamentally understands the flow of the game and how space can be attacked and molded to his team’s advantage.
The term refers more to offense, and Müller had to develop that ingenious knack for exploiting space because he lacks physical tools.
But the term can be applied to Warner’s defense. The difference — sport, language, etc. aside — is that he has all the physical tools.
Much like Travis Kelce exploits gaps in zone coverage and has an innate knack to sit down in pockets of space, Warner closes them.
Quarterbacks who like to target the middle of the field — *coughs in Jimmy Garoppolo* —tend to struggle against Warner. To be fair, most offenses struggle against the 49ers’ defense. But Warner’s vacuum-sealing impact and ability to cover everyone, at every level of the field, is much to do with his influence.”
“But a lot of the trickiest things the 49ers had to deal with on Sunday against a talented Dallas team were solved in a way that showed us how the 49ers might solve them against the Eagles. And showed that the 49ers are the only NFC team that is capable of solving them on this stage.”
“It’s fair to call George Kittle’s effort late in the third quarter “The 9-Yard Catch.” That’s the distance it required the 49ers’ tight end to secure the football on a reception that ultimately netted 30 yards and served as a key cog in the team’s go-ahead, 91-yard touchdown drive. Kittle first touched quarterback Brock Purdy’s dart at the 49ers’ 39-yard line. He then juggled it while moving at close to full speed for the next 9 yards before finally securing it at the 49ers’ 48-yard line.”
“By the second half, when the Niners put together consecutive scoring drives that lasted 10 and 13 plays, respectively, there was nothing exotic about their schematic approach...“Toward the end we just ran ‘Punch’ and ‘Counter’ and ‘Power,’” Juszczyk said. “It was, ‘Let’s just go right at them.’”...Something had to give, and in the end it was the Cowboys who yielded ground and couldn’t make it up. That proved to be a gut-punch for Jones, the 80-year-old owner whose team won three Super Bowls in the first half of the ’90s but has now been denied a return to the conference-championship stage 27 years running.”
“I play pissed off,” he said. “That’s who I am. I try to find something that upsets me. And it’s really hard sometimes during the season to find that because it’s so mundane to do it week in and week out. And everyone’s high-fiving and hugging. But I always try to find something during the week to drive me. And a Super Bowl ring is what I want. I’m missing that in my career.”
“I see it all the time,” Kittle said. “Brock is good quarterback who keeps his eyes up when a play is falling apart. His number one (read wasn’t open). His number two wasn’t open. And for him to look back inside and see a white glove fly up and give me a shot at the ball? That’s just really good quarterback play.”
“The high-powered 49ers’ offense of the second half of the season met its match, as Dallas set the tone with a fast and aggressive defensive effort that bottled up San Francisco’s run game and prevented Purdy from getting the ball in space to his playmakers.”
“The Cowboys lost for a record seventh-straight time in the divisional round and have failed to make it to the NFC title game since winning their fifth Super Bowl title following the 1995 season.”
“It wasn’t pretty, but the 49ers figured out a way to emerge from their divisional playoff matchup with the Cowboys a 19-12 winner. They punched their ticket to the NFC championship for the third time in four years.”
“After the game, Purdy joked that it seemed Kittle was bobbling the ball for about 10 seconds. That was by design, according to Kittle.”