49ers beat Packers in frigid wild card playoff

Sun Jan 5, 2014 9:22pm EST
 
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(Reuters) - The San Francisco 49ers beat the Packers 23-20 on a last-second field goal to win a fierce battle in brutally cold conditions at Lambeau Field in Green Bay, Wisconsin in their wild card round playoff game on Sunday.

Phil Dawson booted a 33-yard field goal just inside the right upright on the last play of the game to give the 49ers the victory after driving from their own 20 in the last five minutes after the Packers tied it 20-20 with a field goal of their own.

The temperature at the start of the game was a frigid five degrees Fahrenheit (-15 C) and dropped as the contest wore on as many players and on-field officials wore balaclavas for warmth.

San Francisco quarterback Colin Kaepernick rescued the Niners on three different occasions with key runs that helped set up scores for the NFC wild card team, which earned a date in next week's divisional round against the Carolina Panthers.

"Colin Kaepernick, I think we can all agree, is a clutch performer," San Francisco coach Jim Harbaugh told reporters after the bruising victory that saw several players on both teams hobble off the field with injuries.

The win was the 49ers' seventh in a row this season and fourth straight over the Packers dating back to 2012.

Twice the Packers took the lead from the 49ers, once in the second quarter and again in the fourth quarter, but both times San Francisco responded on their next possession with touchdown drives keyed by long runs by Kaepernick.

LONG STRIDER

The long-striding Wisconsin native dashed 42 yards to help put the Niners back in front 13-7 in the first half, and after they fell back 17-13, ripped off a 24-yard run to set up another score for a 20-17 lead.   Continued...

 
Jan 5, 2014; Green Bay, WI, USA; Green Bay Packers wide receiver Jordy Nelson (87) makes a catch San Francisco 49ers cornerback Tramaine Brock (26) during the second half of the 2013 NFC wild card playoff football game at Lambeau Field. San Francisco 49ers defeat the Green Bay Packers 23-20. Mandatory Credit: Mike DiNovo-USA TODAY Sports