'Playoff Deebo' means extra chip on his shoulder and big plays originally appeared on NBC Sports Bayarea
SANTA CLARA — The 49ers' divisional-round playoff game against the Dallas Cowboys on Sunday might be one of the biggest they've ever hosted at Levi’s Stadium, but to Deebo Samuel, it’s just another step toward his team's ultimate aim.
"I just look at it as another opponent that we got to face to get to the goal we are trying to do," San Francisco's star wide receiver said Wednesday.
Samuel certainly flourishes in the playoffs -- with 26 catches for 414 yards, 36 carries for 271 yards and three total touchdowns in seven career postseason games -- and he was a primary reason the 49ers reached the NFC Championship last year.
His most notable performance in those playoffs might have been in the 23-17 wild-card win over the Cowboys when he famously promised coach Kyle Shanahan that he'd make a play if the ball was in his hands, and then did, ripping off a 26-yard touchdown run that gave San Francisco a 23-7 lead.
"It was just the heat of the moment," said Samuel, who had 110 total yards (72 rushing, 38 receiving) on 13 touches in the game. "I was mic'd up, and I remember I was like, 'Yo, we need a turnover right here.' And then K’Waun [Williams] got a pick. In the heat of the moment, I was like, 'Kyle, let’s go for it.' He called the right play, it was blocked up well, and I hit it."
So, "Playoff Deebo"? Yes, he admitted it's a thing.
"It is a different element to the game, 100 percent," Samuel said. "Because you're not guaranteed another one, so you go out there and put it all on the line. Not that I don’t do that week in and week out, but it is a little extra chip on your shoulder."
Cowboys fans own a chip on their shoulder after having two fewer days off between games than the 49ers, as Dallas played Monday night and San Francisco on Saturday afternoon.
“I really didn’t think about that until today,” Samuel said. “An extra day is good, but we know what it takes. We know what we have to do all week to prepare for the game."
No matter what other factors are in play, Samuel and the 49ers should be ready to roll for the 3:30 p.m. kickoff Sunday.