Sherman smothered his side of the field in the 49ers' 27-10 NFC divisional-round rout of the Vikings, allowing only one inconsequential completion in the second quarter. San Francisco beat Green Bay 37-8 on November 24 and split two meetings with Seattle, winning in Week 17 to clinch the NFC West division and the conference's top seed.
49ers: NFC championship game next Sunday against either Seattle or Green Bay.
The Super Bowl among conference champions is set for February 2 in Miami.
The Niners (14-3) first playoff game in six seasons and first ever at Levi's Stadium turned into a lopsided one as top-seeded San Francisco turned a pair of second-half turnovers by Minnesota (11-7) into 10 points.
The leading Vikings running back Dalvin Cook was held only 18 yards.
The 49ers' offensive line also was effective, controlling the game up front.
The replay booth came to San Francisco's rescue, however, correctly spotting that Samuel had a knee down before the fumble occurred. Tevin Coleman had 22 carries for 105 yards and two touchdowns.
"We've got some things to clean up, but we played well enough to win and that's all you can ask for", said 49ers tight end George Kittle. "We caught an injury bug a little bit on that side of the ball the second half of the year, and it made games just a little bit harder, but that's who we want to be".
Garoppolo marched the 49ers 61 yards in eight plays and found Kendrick Bourne with a three-yard touchdown pass.
The nine-year National Football League veteran's interception came with just under 10 minutes remaining in the third quarter and the Vikings trailing by a touchdown on third-and-9. It was Richard Sherman who did the deed, with the team up 17-10, at a pivotal time in the game, to completely swing the momentum.
Robbie Gould's second field goal for San Francisco, which covered 21 yards, ended the score at 27-10.