Chemistry is a moody thing in team sports. Some teams have it. Some don't.
The 49ers have it, and it's a big reason why they're going to play against the Chiefs for the Lombardi Trophy at Super Bowl 2020 in Miami on February 2nd.
The fact that it was a journeyman who ran back to Raheem Mostert and played for his seventh NFL team that emerged as the star of Packers' 37:20 win at the NFC championship game at Levi's stage on Sunday symbolic as well as fitting.
A week earlier, in the 49ers' 27:10 win in the playoffs against the Vikings, it was another run back, Tevin Coleman, who carried the load and went for two touchdowns.
"We are a team that can win in any way," said Joe Staley. "It's really hard to play against this team and beat it."
Ask the 49er players or coaches and they will point out the distinctive chemistry in the team as a starting point for the team's success.
"This is a very tight locker room," said Staley. "It was really special to see how everyone works together. We have a lot of fun at work. It's really rare."
Staley, in his 13th NFL season, should be seen as an authority in this area. Only three seasons ago, when coach Kyle Shanahan and GM John Lynch arrived and were about to be rebuilt, did he consider retiring as it was no longer fun to switch from 7 to 25 in the two seasons before to come to work when the new regime takes office.
Shanahan and Lynch persuaded Staley to go ahead with another renovation. and Staley is grateful that he listened because he had the time of his life. He's going to the Super Bowl.
"There are no egos," said Staley. "Nobody cares what credit they get."
In fact, quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo was asked to throw only eight passes on Sunday, and in two playoff games, he only threw 27 passes and made 17 passes for 208 yards.
And he couldn't care less.
Tight end George Kittle, who has been the leading recipient of the 49ers with 85 receptions this season and 178 in the past two years, has a pass for 19 yards on Sunday and four receptions for 35 yards in the playoffs.
He couldn't care less.
"I was in some pretty tight teams, but that's just the thing for them," said seasoned cornerback Richard Sherman, who won a Super Bowl with Seattle. "It's really special, part of."
Sherman noted that this chemistry did not coincide with victories.
"We had it before we won," he said, referring to last season's 4-12 team.
Both Lynch and Shanahan actually wondered last season whether the team was happy with defeats because the players got along so well.
"Why are everyone between 4 and 12 so happy?" Lynch wondered.
"We had [chemistry] much better than I expected in the early years and it didn't lead to victory, "said Shanahan." Sometimes we are almost [wondered]"Does that mean we need some worse?" But we stuck to it. We brought in a few people who thought the same way we did [existing] Guys. I have a feeling that our team has been like this from the start. And if you do that and win, it will only get stronger. "
Sherman, who signed before last season, said: “Finding the right people was a big part of it. Boys who want to do everything to win, boys who are selfless, boys who have compassion, boys who show humility to each other. "
An incident that occurred in the division round was an example of the selflessness that has permeated her locker room. Cornerback Ahkello Witherspoon was beaten with a long TD pass against Minnesota Stefon Diggs at the start of the game and was immediately substituted in by Shanahan, who was replaced by Emmanuel Moseley.
Instead of pouting on the sideline, Witherspoon marched directly to Shanahan and offered to take Moseley's snapshots on special teams to keep him fresher in defense.
"Teamwork makes the dream come true," said kicker Robbie Gould.
"I love these guys … and if you have that kind of chemistry across the organization, heaven is the limit," said seasoned receiver Emmanuel Sanders, who played in Super Bowl teams with Pittsburgh and Denver before joining switched to the 49ers this season.
"It's the team that John and Kyle built," said Mike McGlinchey. "We have weapons everywhere. It doesn't matter who is up or down. We have people everywhere who are able to play soccer games. Raheem is the greatest proof of that. "