SANTA CLARA: On Saturday night at Levi’s Stadium, Dre Greenlaw’s interception in the fourth quarter sealed the 49ers’ 24-21 divisional round playoff victory over the Green Bay Packers. However, his attempt to run the ball back for a possible touchdown had everyone, including his head coach, on the edge of their seats.
While Kyle Shanahan acknowledged that there was a lesson learned during his postgame press conference on Saturday night, there was also some lighthearted banter between players.
Shanahan told reporters in the Bay Area over the phone, “I think he’s glad it ended the way it did, and I don’t think he will ever make that mistake again.” “He could tell how big of a deal it was after, but we didn’t get on him too hard.”
With two interceptions in the second half, including the one that propelled the 49ers to their third consecutive NFC Championship Game, Greenlaw had an exceptional performance. With eight total tackles—two solo and one for a loss—the linebacker led San Francisco in tackles as well.
The Arkansas product had a team-high Pro Football Focus coverage grade of 87.7 after being successful in coverage, allowing only 25 yards on six catches on eight targets.
“We are grateful that he produced the play,” Shanahan remarked. But if you give the team any more of a chance, things can turn very quickly and you could spoil some of the greatest plays ever. We didn’t need to give them any more opportunities, man, given the way that game was going.
After missing the game against the Packers due to Achilles tendonitis since Week 17, Greenlaw was able to play. He made the two interceptions that changed the game while playing all 67 defensive snaps.
Although Shanahan admires his linebacker’s spirit and natural ability to produce big plays, he is aware that Greenlaw must continue to be situationally aware of when to stop a play by going down.
Shanahan remarked, “Hopefully we won’t have to deal with it again and hopefully he learned his lesson.”