49ers 23

(12-4, 6-2 away)

Packers 20

(8-7-1, 4-3-1 home)

Coverage: FOX

4:40 PM ET, January 5, 2014

Lambeau Field, Green Bay, WI 

1 2 3 4 T
SF 6 7 0 1023
GB 0 10 0 1020

Top Performers

Passing: C. Kaepernick (SF) - 227 YDS, 1 TD, 1 INT

Rushing: C. Kaepernick (SF) - 7 CAR, 98 YDS

Receiving: M. Crabtree (SF) - 8 REC, 125 YDS

Phil Dawson's kick lifts 49ers past Packers in frigid wild-card game

Associated Press

GREEN BAY, Wis. -- Under pressure in subzero weather, Colin Kaepernick kept his cool.

Facing a blitz on third-and-8, the elusive San Francisco 49ers quarterback scrambled 11 yards out of trouble to set up Phil Dawson's 33-yard field goal as time expired for a 23-20 win Sunday over the Green Bay Packers in an NFC wild-card game.

Doesn't matter where or when -- the 49ers keep figuring out how to beat Green Bay.

"Didn't think we were going to pull it out, did you?" coach Jim Harbaugh said.

When it's Kaepernick and the 49ers facing the Packers, the game is never over. Even in the meat locker that was Lambeau Field, where the temperature at kickoff was 5 degrees, with a wind chill of minus-10.

No sweat for Kaepernick. He went sleeveless, and didn't wear gloves.

"I've played in cold-weather games before," he said. "I feel like it's more mental than anything."

San Francisco plays at Carolina next Sunday in the divisional round.

Kaepernick threw for 227 yards, including a 28-yard TD pass to Vernon Davis, and ran for another 98, while Michael Crabtree had eight catches for 125 yards for San Francisco.

In a back-and-forth fourth quarter, the 49ers (13-4) threw the final punch. Kaepernick escaped a blitz to get to the 27 with 1:13 left.

"Just trying to figure out a way to get that first down," Kaepernick said. "Had a play called, we didn't get the look that we wanted. It worked out for us."

Dawson nailed the winning kick five plays later -- but only after nearly being blocked by edge rusher Davon House. He was whistled for being offside on the play, but the 49ers declined the penalty with the win in hand.

Mason Crosby's 24-yard field goal tied it at 20 for the Packers (8-8-1) with 5:06 left before the 49ers' final drive.

Until then, Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers did his best to turn into "Captain Comeback" again. After a slow first quarter, Rodgers finished 17 of 26 for 177 yards and touchdown.

"Very disappointing, personally," Rodgers said. "It's frustrating not to play your best game in tough conditions. Defense holds them to 23 points. We should win that game."

Kaepernick connected with a spinning Davis down the seam for a score with 10:39 left. The TD quickly answered John Kuhn's 1-yard run that briefly gave the Packers a four-point lead.

That touchdown was set up after Rodgers, in the clutches of a 49ers defender, somehow managed to escape a sack on fourth-and-2 and found Randall Cobb for a 26-yard gain to the Niners 4.

Eddie Lacy ran for 81 yards on 21 carries for the Packers, while Frank Gore had 66 yards and a touchdown on 20 carries for the 49ers.

But it was Kaepernick who was the difference-maker once again in San Francisco's fourth straight win over Green Bay. He finished 16 of 30 with the touchdown and an interception.

For the second year in a row, the Packers' season has started and ended with losses to the 49ers. The latest edition of what's turned into a chippy and heated rivalry took place on the worn, frozen turf of Lambeau Field.

An injury-filled season for the Packers came to an end.

A depleted Packers defense -- already playing without linebacker Clay Matthews -- lost two more starters Sunday in cornerback Sam Shields and linebacker Mike Neal -- but still managed to hold its own against the Niners.

"I'm just very proud of this team as far as their ability to continue to overcome adversity," coach Mike McCarthy said. "It hit us at every turn, it hit us again today and these guys just keep fighting and fighting."

In a memorable playoff debut last January, Kaepernick ran for a quarterback playoff-record 181 yards and a pair of touchdowns. In the season opener in September, the strong-armed quarterback threw for a career-best 412 yards and three scores.

This time, he did his damage on the ground and through the air.

Kaepernick tore through the Green Bay defense for a 42-yard run, getting a break at one point after House whiffed on a tackle, to set up Gore's 10-yard touchdown run that helped give the 49ers a 13-10 halftime lead.

"It was unbelievable, the way he was getting the edge. I mean, just clutch," Harbaugh said. "Colin Kaepernick, I think we can all agree, is a clutch performer."

Game notes

It was the seventh-coldest game at Lambeau Field since 1959, and the fourth-coldest postseason game at the stadium. ... Kuhn has scored a touchdown in each of the last five postseasons. ... After a big day in the season opener against Green Bay, Anquan Boldin was held to three catches for 38 yards.

Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press


Team Stat Comparison

1st Downs2218
Passing 1st downs
Rushing 1st downs
1st downs from penalties
3rd down efficiency
4th down efficiency
Total Plays6361
Total Yards381281
Yards per play6.04.6
Total Drives1010
Yards per pass
Interceptions thrown
Sacks-Yards Lost
Rushing Attempts
Yards per rush
Red Zone (Made-Att)1-42-4
Fumbles lost
Interceptions thrown
Defensive / Special Teams TDs00

Passing Leaders


Rushing Leaders


Receiving Leaders


Scoring Summary

sfFG9:04Phil Dawson 22 Yard Field Goal is Good
Drive info: 13 plays, 69 yds, 4:28
sfFG2:20Phil Dawson 25 Yard Field Goal is Good
Drive info: 11 plays, 42 yds, 4:49
gbTD5:56Jordy Nelson 5 Yard Pass From Aaron Rodgers (Mason Crosby Kick is Good)
Drive info: 14 plays, 70 yds, 7:18
sfTD2:54Frank Gore 10 Yard Run (Phil Dawson Kick is Good)
Drive info: 5 plays, 68 yds, 3:02
gbFG0:04Mason Crosby 34 Yard Field Goal is Good
Drive info: 9 plays, 59 yds, 2:48
gbTD12:09John Kuhn 1 Yard Run (Mason Crosby Kick is Good)
Drive info: 12 plays, 80 yds, 6:13
sfTD10:37Vernon Davis 28 Yard Pass From Colin Kaepernick (Phil Dawson Kick is Good)
Drive info: 4 plays, 63 yds, 1:35
gbFG5:09Mason Crosby 24 Yard Field Goal is Good
Drive info: 11 plays, 61 yds, 5:25
sfFG0:03Phil Dawson 33 Yard Field Goal is Good
Drive info: 14 plays, 65 yds, 5:06

Research Notes

The 49ers sacked or put Aaron Rodgers under duress on 14 of his 32 dropbacks (44 percent), despite sending five or more pass rushers on just three of Rodgers' dropbacks. All four of the 49ers' sacks came via a standard, four-man rush. Rodgers found success under duress when targeting Randall Cobb, but struggled to find other receivers.
The Packers have lost five of their last eight home playoff games after winning each of their first 13.
Teams trailing at halftime in the Wild Card round went 3-1 this year as the Packers were the only team that failed to rally in the 2nd half. The trend was completely different the last 10 seasons. Teams trailing at halftime of a Wild Card game had gone 8-31, going no better than 1-3 in any one season.
Vernon Davis scored his 14th touchdown of the season in the fourth quarter Sunday. Davis has scored 14 of the 49ers' 22 receiving touchdowns this season, by far the highest percentage of any player in the league.
Colin Kaepernick scrambled four times for a career-high 85 yards Sunday, the second-most scramble yards for a quarterback in a single game this season (Russell Wilson - 91 in Week 5 against the Colts). Kaepernick's two highest single-game rushing totals have come in his two playoff meetings with the Packers, doing most of his damage via scrambles. --In four career playoff games, Kaepernick is averaging 11.0 yards before contact per rush, most among all players with multiple rushes over the last two postseasons.
For the 2nd straight postseason against the Packers, Colin Kaepernick had at least 200 passing yards and 95 rushing yards in a game. The only other player with 200 passing yards and 95 rushing yards in a playoff game in the Super Bowl era was Donovan McNabb for the Eagles in 2003 -- also against the Packers.
Colin Kaepernick looked to Michael Crabtree early and often with seven targets in the first quarter, Crabtree's most targets in any quarter in his career. Crabtree also keyed the final drive for the 49ers, catching both passes thrown his way for first downs to keep the clock moving and setup Phil Dawson's game-winning FG. --The duo connected on 5-of-6 pass attempts for 95 yards on throws that traveled more than 10 yards downfield against a Packers defense that finished the regular season with the worst Total QBR allowed among playoff teams on such throws.
Kaepernick was 0-for-4 and sacked once on his red-zone dropbacks, while the 49ers averaged 4.8 yards per rush in the red zone, including Frank Gore's 10-yard touchdown. The 49ers only scored a touchdown on one of four red-zone opportunities Sunday.
Jim Harbaugh said after yesterday's NFC Wild Card game that, "Michael Crabtree catches everything. It's unbelievable." He added a moment later, "If my life depended on it and somebody had to catch the ball, I'd enlist Michael Crabtree to do it." But the numbers don't back up Harbaugh's statement. Crabtree entered the league in 2009. Since then, he has dropped 5.9 percent of his targets, ranked 64th out of 69 qualified wide receivers in that span.
Frank Gore now has five rushing touchdowns in the postseason, three shy of Steve Young's franchise record.
Colin Kaepernick's Total QBR was 88.8, amazingly his lowest in 3 career starts against the Packers. Kaepernick now has an 87.9 Total QBR in 4 career postseason starts, the highest among any QB since 2006 (min. 2 starts)
After going 3-for-3 on field goals today, Phil Dawson has made 32 of his last 33 field goal attempts (97.0%) dating back to Week 5, the highest field goal percentage in the NFL since that time. Dawson's only miss came in Week 17 vs Cardinals...from 24 yards away.
Michael Crabtree's 3 games with 100 Rec yds in the postseason are fourth most in 49ers history.
Tramon Williams' interception of Colin Kaepernick was just the second turnover forced by the Packers in four games against the 49ers since the start of the 2012 season.
Aaron Rodgers only attempted one pass more than 10 yards downfield in the first half.
Colin Kaepernick has a 91.1 Total QBR in 2 career starts against the Packers. In those 2 games, he has averaged 337.5 passing yards and 101.5 rushing yards with 7 passing and rushing touchdowns combined.
Colin Kaepernick was 0-for-4 and has been sacked once in the red zone in the first half against the Packers.
Aaron Rodgers failed to complete a pass on two first quarter attempts Sunday. It was the first time in his career he had no completions when attempting a pass in the first quarter.
Green Bay is 16-4 at home in the playoffs all-time but after winning each of their first 13 home playoff games, they are just 3-4 in their last 7 games.
Colin Kaepernick was 1-for-5 for 17 yards and an INT on play action in the first half.
At the end of the first quarter, the Packers had as many total yards (6) as the 49ers had points.
The 49ers sacked or put Aaron Rodgers under duress on eight of his 18 dropbacks (44 percent). The 49ers have only sent five or more pass rushers on one of Rodgers' 18 dropbacks (6 percent). During the regular season, the 49ers blitzed on only 19 percent of dropbacks for opposing quarterbacks, second-fewest in the league.
Aaron Rodgers was pressured (sacked or under duress) on all four of his first quarter dropbacks. The Packers improved their protection in the second quarter, with Rodgers under pressure on 4-of-14 dropbacks. Rodgers was also more effective in those situations.

ESPN Stats & Information