The San Francisco 49ers defeated the Green Bay Packers 37-20 to win the NFC Championship and will now play the Kansas City Chiefs in Super Bowl 54 on 2 February in Miami.
Raheem Mostert ran in four touchdowns as the 49ers took control, with the Packers, who trailed 27-0 at half-time, scoring two Aaron Jones touchdowns and another from Jace Sternberger.
The Chiefs beat the Tennessee Titans 35-24 in the AFC Championship game earlier on Sunday to secure a first Super Bowl appearance in 50 years.
This will be the 49ers’ first Super Bowl since 2013 when they lost 34-31 to the Baltimore Ravens in New Orleans.
The 49ers have won it five times, but their last success came 25 years ago when they beat the San Diego Chargers 49-26 in Super Bowl 29, which was also held in Miami.
It has been a remarkable turnaround for Kyle Shanahan’s side, who had a 4-12 record in the 2018 regular season, compared to 13-3 in this campaign.
They had thrashed Green Bay 37-8 in week 12 in November and were completely dominant in the first half against the Packers at Levi’s Stadium.
Mostert’s first touchdown saw him sprint in from 36 yards, before Robbie Gould’s huge 54-yard field goal gave the hosts a 10-0 lead early in the second quarter.
Two further scores from Mostert – from nine and 18 yards – gave the 49ers a 27-0 lead and meant he became the first player in NFL history with 150+ rush yards and three rush touchdowns in a single half of a playoff game.
Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers found Jones for a nine-yard touchdown early in the third, but Mostert soon ran in from 22 yards for his fourth touchdown – the most from any player in an NFC Championship match.
Jones bundled over from one yard for his second touchdown of the day for the Packers, who then missed a two-point conversion attempt when Davante Adams could not hold on.
However, Rodgers’ eight-yard pass to Jace Sternberger brought the Packers to within 14 points after a 65-yard pass to Davante Adams had set up the chance.
The Packers were aiming to reach their first Super Bowl since beating the Pittsburgh Steelers 31-25 in Super Bowl 45 in February 2011 but could not do enough to complete a fightback against the 49ers, with Gould’s 42-yard field goal sealing the home victory.
“I just woke up like it was any other game,” said Mostert of his stellar display.
“It was just one of those games where once we all got in the groove we were like ‘Hey, let’s keep it riding, keep it rolling’ and that’s what we did.”
Mahomes shines as the Chiefs fight back to win
Quarterback Patrick Mahomes threw three touchdowns and ran in another as the Chiefs overcame an early 10-point deficit with 28 unanswered points to beat the Titans.
Tennessee had previously upset New England and Baltimore in the play-offs.
Kansas City were slow starters again, just like last week when they fell 24-0 behind before beating Houston 51-31, and they twice went 10 points behind in a near perfectly executed game plan from the Titans, combined with more sloppy play and penalties from the hosts.
Tyreek Hill scored on an eight-yard jet sweep either side of a Derrick Henry run and a touchdown catch from Titans lineman Dennis Kelly – who became the heaviest player ever to catch a play-off touchdown pass in history.
Mahomes then took over with two quick scores that have become his trademark – first firing a 20-yard strike to Hill before taking off himself for a breath-taking 27-yard scoring run that saw him evade a couple of tacklers before out-muscling a couple more and driving into the end zone.
The Titans had dominated first-half possession and Kansas City had made the very most of their time with the ball, but in the second half Kansas City produced more prolonged attacks as they chewed up over seven minutes when scoring their fourth touchdown of the game.
Damien Williams ran in the score from three yards out to cap a 13-play drive covering 73 yards.
Far from sitting on their lead, Kansas City kept pressing and Mahomes unleashed a 60-yard throw to Sammy Watkins to seal the game, despite a late consolation touchdown from Anthony Firkser.
After the Chiefs fell at the same hurdle at home last season against the Patriots, this time they saw out the contest to claim the AFC Championship title and book their place in Miami for Super Bowl 54 on 2 February.
Kansas City appeared in the first ever Super Bowl and last took part in the big game in Super Bowl IV in 1970 – with their return to the NFL finale representing the biggest gap in Super Bowl appearances in history.
“It’s amazing and to do it at Arrowhead as well,” said Mahomes.
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“We’re not done yet, we’re going to do it. This is awesome, we go out every day and you see the work coach [Andy] Reid does.
“We’re going to the Super Bowl and going to play our best football.”
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