Kyle Juszczyk didn't register one stat against the Minnesota Vikings on Saturday. His name wasn't seen once in the box score of the 49ers' 27-10 win in the divisional round of the NFC playoffs.
And yet, the fullback might have been the 49ers' offensive MVP.
The 49ers rushed for 189 yards, with Tevin Coleman leading the way. The veteran running back broke out for 105 yards rushing and two TDs on 22 carries. San Francisco's success on the ground came in large part to Juszczyk being on the field.
Former NFL offensive lineman Brian Baldinger, who has grown his profile with extensive breakdowns on Twitter, agrees.
Brian I appreciate your understanding and admiration of the nuances of the game. It takes 11 in unison to get it done and when it does it's a beautiful picture! Much respect! https://t.co/61ZTmfIJ4t— Kyle Juszczyk (@JuiceCheck44) January 12, 2020
So do to the numbers. When Juszczyk was on the field, the 49ers had a 72 percent success rate on 39 rushing attempts. Their success rate dropped to 38 percent in the eight attempts that Juszczyk was off the field, according to the NFL's Next Gen Stats.
Juszczyk played 50 offensive snaps Saturday, tied for his season-high. He also registered four snaps on special teams. The do-it-all fullback played just 23 offensive snaps in the 49ers' 37-8 blowout win over the Green Bay Packers in Week 12.
Expect that number to go up on Sunday in the NFC Championship Game.
Juszczyk is the 49ers' unsung hero. He's Example A of a player whose value goes beyond the box score, and will play a key role in trying to push San Francisco to Miami for Super Bowl LIV.
Programming note: NBC Sports Bay Area feeds your hunger for 49ers playoff coverage with special editions of "49ers Central" all week (8 p.m. Monday, Wednesday and Friday; 6 p.m. Tuesday and Thursday)
Also tune in at 2:30 p.m. Sunday for "49ers Pregame Live," with Laura Britt, Jeff Garcia, Donte Whitner, Ian Williams and Grant Liffmann previewing the NFC Championship Game against the Packers. That same crew will have all the postgame reaction on "49ers Postgame Live," starting at approximately 5:30 p.m.
How Kyle Juszczyk was 49ers' unsung hero on offense against Vikings originally appeared on NBC Sports Bay Area