Unlikely star Raheem Mostert carries 49ers to big early lead over Packers

Shalise Manza Young
Yahoo Sports Columnist

The San Francisco 49ers have opened up a 17-0 lead over the Green Bay Packers in the NFC Championship game, and the star of the game thus far is a pretty unlikely one: running back Raheem Mostert.

Mostert has both of San Francisco’s touchdowns, the first a beautiful 36-yard run on a third-and-8 with 5:55 to play in the first quarter, and the second at 9:12 in the second quarter, when he ran wide left from 9 yards out and dove for the pylon.

Mostert had well over 100 yards rushing in the first half. He ended up finishing with a record-setting four TDs and 220 yards in the 49ers’

To say the 27-year-old Florida native has bounced around the NFL trying to latch on is an understatement. Coming out of Purdue in 2015, he signed with the Philadelphia Eagles as an undrafted rookie. Since then, he’s also spent time with the Miami Dolphins, Baltimore Ravens, Cleveland Browns, New York Jets, and Chicago Bears before joining the Niners’ practice squad in November 2016.

While he did play at least one regular season game with all of those teams except for the Eagles, Mostert never had a carry as a back until he got to San Francisco.

He played every game in the regular season this year, with 772 rushing yards on 137 carries, a robust 5.6 YPA.

Last week against Minnesota, he had 12 carries for 58 yards.

Like many in his position, Mostert’s special teams play likely got him chances on offense. Last year with San Francisco, playing in nine games, he played just 9 percent of the offensive snaps, but 34 percent of the special teams snaps.

This season, he played 34 percent of the offensive snaps and 45 percent on special teams.

Superman: San Francisco 49ers running back Raheem Mostert leaps for the pylon to score in the second quarter of the NFC title game. (AP/Tony Avelar)

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