Former Jaguars safety creates key momentum swing for 49ers in NFC Championship Game

• The San Francisco 49ers are on close to making the Super Bowl. Former Jaguars safety Tashaun Gipson came up with a game-defining game that helped the Niners come back from behind.

Jan 21, 2018; Foxborough, MA, USA; Jacksonville Jaguars safety Tashaun Gipson (39) against the New
Jan 21, 2018; Foxborough, MA, USA; Jacksonville Jaguars safety Tashaun Gipson (39) against the New / Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports
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Early in the NFC Championship game, it looked like the Detroit Lions would come out on top. Coming out of halftime, they were up 24-7. However, no lead is safe and the San Francisco 49ers managed to come back from behind to tie the game and eventually get ahead on the scoreboard. One play that swung momentum in the Niners' favor was delivered by safety Tashaun Gipson. That's right, the same Gipson who played for the Jacksonville Jaguars from 2016-2018.

In case you were wondering, the answer is yes. Gipson is still around. More importantly, he's got some juice left, as he showed when he dislodged the football from running back Jahmyr Gibbs in the conference game. Defensive end Arik Armstead then recovered, giving the ball back to San Francisco. Even though the Niners couldn't take advantage of the turnover, Gipson most definitely eradicated whatever momentum the Lions had built at the time.

Gipson signed with the Cleveland Browns after going undrafted in 2012. He worked his way up the depth chart and started a few games late in his rookie season. He became a full-time starter the following year and signed with the Jags when he became a free agent in 2016. During his three-year stint in Jacksonville, the former Wyoming Cowboy had 159 total tackles, 16 passes defensed, and six interceptions.

But as reliable as Gipson was, the Jags moved on from him in 2019 to create cap relief and pave the way for special-teams ace Jarrod Wilson, who consistently delivered when called upon. He proceeded to play for the Houston Texans that year and later spent two seasons with the Chicago Bears. He then joined the Niners in 2022, where he's remained ever since.

Tashaun Gipson was a key cog in the Jaguars sacksonville defense

When you think of the Sacksonville defense, cornerback Jalen Ramsey, Calais Campbell, and a handful other players will come to mind before Tashaun Gipson. That said, he was without a doubt pivotal in making the AFC Championship game in 2017. Sure, he was as much of a game-changer as either Ramsey or Campbell but he gave the Jags a reliable starter at safety during his tenure in Duval.

Heck, you could make the case that Gipson had a hefty cap hit, but there was a considerable dropoff from him to Wilson. The fact that he continues to have an NFL career while Wilson last played in a regular-season game in 2021 goes on to show that general manager Dave Caldwell should've found a way to keep Gipson around. While cutting ties with Gipson wasn't the reason Caldwell got his walking papers, moves like that were the reason he left the Jaguars devoid of talent.

If the San Francisco 49ers make the Super Bowl, head coach Kyle Shannahan and players such as Bruck Purdy, Christian McCaffrey, and Deebo Samuel will get the spotlight. However, Tashaun Gipson also made a huge play when it mattered the most and his role in making it possible shouldn't be overlooked.

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