MIAMI — No a person from the 49ers cares to engage in the “what if?’’ recreation, simply because they really do not have to.
Immediately after all, what is accomplished is accomplished, suitable?
But what would have happened if 49ers rookie linebacker Dre Greenlaw doesn’t end Seattle restricted conclusion Jacob Hollister an inch or two limited of the conclusion zone on fourth-and-goal last month with the purest, most technically seem tackle you’ve ever seen to clinch a San Francisco win and — most importantly — the No. 1 all round NFC seed in the playoffs?
If Greenlaw hadn’t followed the instruction of linebacker coach DeMeco Ryans from just times before that recreation in exercise, San Francisco doesn’t get home-area advantage all over the NFC playoffs, doesn’t get to suffocate the Vikings in the divisional round and overwhelm the Packers in the NFC title recreation at Levi’s Stadium.
If Greenlaw went very low on Hollister rather of superior and allowed him to drop forward throughout the goal line with the profitable touchdown, the 49ers would have entered the playoffs as a wild-card entrant, as the fifth seed, owning to win 3 highway playoff game titles to get Miami this 7 days.
If Greenlaw doesn’t stone Hollister at the goal line, there’s a good probability the 49ers are not enjoying the Chiefs on Sunday in Tremendous Bowl LIV at Tough Rock Stadium.
This, of system, is a hypothetical the 49ers have very little fascination in examining. They favor to believe that that they are a group of destiny, that they had been a good highway group in 2019 (7-1) and that they’d be right here anyway.
They can consider whichever they want, but Greenlaw, the 148th all round decide on last spring, saved their season with that tackle, the engage in of the calendar year in the NFL.
Greenlaw’s engage in really potentially altered the system of historical past for the 49ers, who are striving to win their to start with Tremendous Bowl considering the fact that the 1994 season.
“It’s gotten brought up really a couple of situations this 7 days,’’ Greenlaw informed The Post with a smile. “And I’m far more than comfortable speaking about it.’’
Why should not he be?
“It was a person of the finest performs I have ever seen getting produced are living,’’ 49ers defensive tackle DeForest Buckner said.
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“Probably a person of most important performs of our season,’’ 49ers linebacker Fred Warner said.
Must the 49ers beat the Chiefs, you can make the argument that was a person of the most important performs in 49ers historical past.
Here’s how it went down:
On Dec. 29 in Seattle, the Seahawks trailed the 49ers, 26-21, in the closing seconds and, on a fourth-and-goal from the San Francisco six-lawn line, Russell Wilson finished a go to Hollister, who was met nearly right away by Greenlaw, effectively ending the recreation with nine seconds remaining and beginning the 49ers’ home journey through the playoffs to Miami.
“I experienced my eyes seeking back again on the quarterback for nearly anything that may arrive into my spot,’’ Greenlaw recalled. “We’d practiced a engage in related to that wherever they had been striving to thrust me outside the house and [Ryans] said, ‘Look back again at the quarterback and read through the quarterback’s eyes.’ ’’
“I remember rushing and turning all-around after the ball remaining Russ’ hand and Dre was at the goal line and delivered a hit and I observed the man go down, but I didn’t see wherever the ball stretched and my coronary heart form of sank,’’ Buckner said.
“I just remember a challenging hit … and the seem, a loud sounds,’’ 49ers basic safety Jimmie Ward said.
Two weeks before, Ward was on the completely wrong conclusion of a related engage in when he went very low on Falcons receiver Julio Jones, who fell forward into the conclusion zone to rating the profitable touchdown with five seconds remaining in what ended up getting a 29-22 Atlanta win on Dec. thirteen.
That was the last time the 49ers misplaced.
“Football is about studying,’’ Ward said. “Dre took the coaching from watching the film of what I did and he aimed a very little greater and he produced a fantastic engage in.’’
No a person was prouder than Greenlaw’s situation coach.
“A ideal-type tackle at the ideal time,’’ Ryans said.
Producing the tale as ideal as that tackle is Greenlaw’s success tale — a 22-calendar year-old who was shuffled through 6 diverse shelters and foster houses as a youth in Arkansas before eventually getting adopted when he was in the ninth quality.
“I went through a good deal of stuff that young children who grow up in poverty go through — but maybe a very little even worse, not owning my mother or father all-around and likely through foster treatment and living shelter to shelter in diverse team houses,’’ Greenlaw said.
Football turned his daily life all-around.
“When I received to a team home and I started off enjoying soccer, I recognized in buy for me to engage in soccer I just cannot screw up and get in hassle or there would be no soccer,’’ Greenlaw said. “Now I’m in the Tremendous Bowl. It gives you a diverse viewpoint on daily life. I really do not take factors for granted.
“It’s a nuts tale.’’
Significantly like that 49ers final result in Seattle, a tale riddled with “what ifs?’’
For far more on Tremendous Bowl 2020, pay attention to the most up-to-date episode of the “Gang’s All Here” podcast: