MORE DIVISIONAL PLAYOFFS:Picks against the spread | Straight-up predictionsThe run game was the difference today.49ers‣ 47 carries‣ 186 yardsVikings‣ 10 carries‣ 21 yards pic.twitter.com/tOmHHxXQwc— Sporting News (@sportingnews) January 12, 2020″We thought the team that got over 30 runs would win this game,” 49ers coach Kyle Shanahan told reporters during his postgame media conference. “We truly look at that as a team goal. We ended up getting 47 on offense. It’s a lot easier to do when a team goes 2 of 12 on third down.”When you see the way the defense is playing, it makes it so much easier to stay with that.”The 49ers have reached the NFC championship game for the first time since they lost to the Seahawks in Seattle to close the 2013 season. They’ll host the NFC title game for the first time since their loss to the eventual Super Bowl-champion Giants in 2012.Here are our takeaways from San Francisco’s dismantling of Minnesota on its way to the 2020 NFC championship game.The 49ers’ defensive line is terrifying.Early developments in games like Saturday’s divisional playoff contest often lie, as players sometimes need a drive or two for their nerves to settle and for adrenaline to become less of a factor. That wasn’t the case for this matchup. The first series of the game was a sign of things to come.The Vikings’ first two plays of the game, both Dalvin Cook runs, were stuffed by Arik Armstead and DeForest Buckner, respectively. On third down, pressure forced a Kirk Cousins incompletion. Three and out, just like that.The 49ers’ defensive line, loaded with a handful of first-round picks, has been stingy all season, but the return of defensive end Dee Ford from his November hamstring injury takes the unit to another level.Feels like the 49ers rushed 7 on this Dee Ford sack, in which they only rushed 4. Pretty sure everybody won their battles. pic.twitter.com/92oYlH6pjb— James Brady (@JamesBradySBN) January 11, 2020San Francisco as a team recorded six sacks of Cousins; Armstead, Ford and Buckner each recorded one, and Nick Bosa, Sporting News’ 2019 Rookie of the Year, recorded two. The combination of Armstead, Buckner, Ford, Bosa and Solomon Thomas accounted for 14 of the team’s 49 tackles overall. The Vikings, armed with a solid offensive line that overpowered the Saints to reach the divisional round, was simply outmatched in every way.Good luck, Green Bay or Seattle.The 49ers will need more good Jimmy Garoppolo and less bad Jimmy Garoppolo in the NFC championship game.The bad news is Garoppolo’s first career playoff start had its ups and downs. The good news is the 49ers didn’t need much from their QB, and they know he is capable of playing much better than he did against the Vikings.Garoppolo’s performance Saturday was plagued by a handful of shaky, dangerous throws. The most costly mistake he made was a bad interception that gave the Vikings a chance to get some points just before halftime, but he was bailed out by the 49ers’ defense, and Minnesota managed just a field goal.What a snag by @EricKendricks54!#GoGetIt pic.twitter.com/lPyEDwBWa8— Minnesota Vikings (@Vikings) January 11, 2020Garoppolo finished the game with 11-of-19 passing, 131 yards, one TD, one INT and a 74.7 passer rating. Even with San Francisco’s defense and running game playing at an elite level, that kind of game from its QB could spell trouble against Seattle or Green Bay next week.Of course, Garoppolo’s passer rating over 16 regular-season games ranged from 59.8 to 145.8. That season-high passer rating came against the Packers. In his two games against the Seahawks, Garoppolo delivered a 66.2 passer rating at home and a 118.7 passer rating on the road.Regardless of who the 49ers draw in the NFC championship game, Garoppolo will be the QB with more to prove with a trip to the Super Bowl on the line.Richard Sherman is as dangerous as ever.Cousins spent the entire first half Saturday avoiding the star cornerback’s side of the field. Early in the third quarter, the Vikings QB finally tested Sherman.Bad idea. Cousins was looking for Adam Thielen on a curl route, which Sherman recognized. He then beat the receiver to Cousins’ throw. It was simply a brilliant play by a player who remains one of the best corners in the NFL.Warning: don’t throw near or around Richard Sherman. 👀pic.twitter.com/YoF27TVDtZ— Sporting News (@sportingnews) January 11, 2020But hey I’m a “zone” corner lmao. Preciate ya brother https://t.co/Pec4mK4v5k— Richard Sherman (@RSherman_25) January 12, 2020Adam Thielen took responsibility for Richard Sherman’s interception of Kirk Cousins, saying he needed to cross Sherman’s face instead of stopping his route. “Obviously, Kirk trusted me to win on that route and make a play on the ball. I didn’t do that,” Thielen said.— Ben Goessling (@GoesslingStrib) January 12, 2020Now that the 49ers’ defense is at full strength with Jaquiski Tartt back in the secondary at safety and Ford back in the defensive line rotation, Sherman’s impact is being optimized. His erasing one side of the field, combined with the relentless pass rush in front of him, forces QBs into limited options.That makes life too easy for defensive coordinator Robert Saleh. Sherman’s play is a big reason why Saleh won Sporting News’ 2019 Coordinator of the Year award. The 49ers had little trouble running over the Vikings in their divisional playoff game Saturday as San Francisco pounded Minnesota 27-10. Now, the winner of Sunday’s Packers-Seahawks game will have to travel to Levi’s Stadium for the NFC championship game, and either team will be in for a tough challenge against a stacked, healthy and clicking No. 1 seed.The 49ers more than doubled the Vikings’ total yardage output (309-147) and racked up 21 first downs compared to Minnesota’s eight (the third-fewest in NFL playoff history, per NBC). The Vikings, who ran all over the Saints last week to reach this game, managed just 21 rushing yards compared to 187 for the 49ers.