SANTA CLARA - Vikings linebacker Anthony Barr will not be able to live this play down for a while.
Early in the second quarter of the 49ers' 27-10 divisional-round playoff win Saturday, Jimmy Garoppolo took the snap and handed the ball to fullback Kyle Juszczyk, who then gave it to Deebo Samuel on the reverse. The wide receiver swept out to the left and found himself behind his lead blocker -- the 49ers' quarterback.
Garoppolo is 3 inches shorter and 25 pounds lighter than 6-foot-5, 255-pound Barr, but his will on that play clearly was much stronger. The quarterback put the linebacker on his heels, making room for Samuel, and then he put Barr on back for his first career pancake block.
The play ended with a Samuel fumble recovered by the Vikings, as he lost the ball after getting around Garoppolo. That call, though, eventually was overturned -- Samuel's knee was down before the ball came loose -- and the 49ers continued their drive, completing it with a 1-yard touchdown run by Tevin Coleman.
Offensive lineman Mike McGlinchey was impressed with his quarterback, but he obviously doesn't want to make it a regular thing.
"That was awesome," McGlinchey said. "I saw that out of the corner of my eye, and Jimmy put him on his a--. That's a pretty good play by him. Maybe we'll put him in at fullback at some point. [Laughing]. Honestly, we'd like to keep him out of those situations as much as possible."
George Kittle was on the other side of the field during the play. When Garoppolo first told him about his accomplishment, the tight end was in disbelief.
"I was blocking on the other side of the field, so I didn't see it, but the replay was pretty cool," Kittle said. "He came up, ‘I got my first pancake,' I was like, ‘Yeah, sure you did.' But he definitely did. I was pretty impressed."
Even linebacker Fred Warner was impressed with his quarterback. Just like when the defense makes a great play energizing the offense, it hyped up the defense to see Garoppolo put a guy on his back.
"Oh, yeah, that was a good little block," Warner said. "I don't know what happened with the dude he was blocking. But, yeah, got him on the ground. I hopped up out of my seat. Got me excited. Any time you see something like that, it gets the energy going."
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Garoppolo, as usual, stayed humble when asked about the play, and laughed a little bit when explaining his contribution.
"It felt good," Garoppolo said. "Just sometimes you have to remember you're not just a quarterback, you're a football player too sometimes. Just tried to do my job on it."
Jimmy Garoppolo's big pancake block energizes 49ers in win vs. Vikings originally appeared on NBC Sports Bay Area