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NFC Wildcard: 49ers Edge Packers At Frigid Lambeau Field


Colin Kaepernick
Jonathan Daniel- Getty Images

Questions abounded on how the San Francisco 49ers would take to the frigid conditions at Lambeau Field against the Green Bay Packers.

The answer didn’t take long as on the first two offensive series Colin Kaepernick led the offense down the field. On both drives Davon House seemed to get away with holding wide receiver Michael Crabtree yet not flags got thrown and the result two field goals for Phil Dawson.

Defensively San Francisco suffocated Aaron Rodgers and the Packers offense on the first three possessions which resulted in punts and only nine plays run. In the first quarter Rodgers didn’t complete a pass on two attempts and go sacked twice. Momentum got changed in the second quarter when Kaepernick threw an interception and Green Bay went to short passes and using Eddie Lacy in short yardage situations to pick up first downs. Jordy Nelson capped the drive off with a five yard touchdown reception.

Yet, it didn’t take long for the 49ers to retake the lead in just five plays as Frank Gore scored from 10 yards out and Kaepernick made the biggest play of the drive with a 42 yard run. With the rather quick drive it gave Rodgers an opportunity to get more points just before halftime. During the drive the Packers used theirtimeouts and instead of an opportunity for a touchdown settled for 24-yard field goal make by Mason Crosby.

San Francisco started the second half with the football and before running its first play took a timeout since their quarterback didn’t have his wrist band on and wasted another time out a few minutes later as well. In the third neither offense did much and there was no scoring. Green Bay did get a nice drive started sing Lacy to get the ball moving and that continued in the fourth. The Packers did end up with a fourth down and two situation in which Rodgers escaped heavy pressure from Ray McDonald and found Randall Cobb for a 26 yard gain. Replays indicated that Rodgers escaped due to McDonald being held and just three plays later John Kuhn found the end zone from one yard out.

A nice return from LaMichael James gave the 49ers excellent field position. Kaepernick came up with a huge play on third and four with a 24 yard run. After a holding penalty on House, Vernon Davis caught a 28 yard touchdown pass to put San Francisco up 20-17.

Rodgers found Nelson for an 11 yard gain and a first down, Lacy ran for five yards, a quick flip pass to Kuhn earned another first down, another run for eight yards and a 25 yard pass play to Cobb put the Packers in greatposition to take the lead back. Eric Reid on the Cobb reception made the tackle that saved a touchdown and yet the Packers still had a great chance to again take the lead with a touchdown. A short run and two incomplete passes forced a game tying field goal from Crosby.

With just over five minutes left and only one timeout left the 49ers went to the air on the first play of the drive an 11 yard pass to Crabtree. A deep pass to Davis fell incomplete, Kaepernick nearly threw his second interception of the game with Micah Hyde not able to make the play, yet Crabtree came up with a very nice catch for 17 yards and the first down. Gore received a carry for only a yard before making an 11 yard reception for another first down and then got another carry.

After an incomplete pass to Davis, Kaepernick came up with a big play as Jarrett Bush came on a blitz and instead of going to the outside went to the inside allow Gore to open a running lane and on a third and eight picked up 11 yards and ran out-of-bounds. It then became time for San Francisco to start utilizing the clock and Green Bay got forced to use its two remaining timeouts. After picking up an another 12 yards and one first down on four plays the 49ers took their final time out with three seconds left the game rested on the foot of Dawson who calmly made it even after House came close to blocking the field goal though it wouldn’t have mattered if it got blocked as House started the play offside and with the field goal being good the penalty declined.

Rodgers finished the game completing 17 of 26 passes for 177 yards and one touchdown while being sacked four times, Lacy carried the ball 21 times for 81 yards and Nelson led the way with seven receptions for 62 yards and a touchdown.

Kaepernick completed 16 of 30 passes for 227 yards with a touchdown and an interception and led the way on the ground with 98 yards on seven carries. Crabtree finished with eight receptions and 125 yards.

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Robert D. Cobb
Founder, Publisher and CEO of INSCMagazine. Works have appeared and featured in places such as Forbes, Huffington Post, ESPN and NBC Sports to name a few. Follow me on Twitter at @RobCobb_INSC, email me at [email protected]

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