49ers defeat the Packers on second last second field goal of Wild Card Weekend
The Niners got the ball with 5:06 to go after the Packers had tied it up with their own field goal. Thus started a 14 play drive that chewed up the entire clock, highlighted by two big third down conversions, the second of which coming on, what else, a Colin Kaepernick rollout run. Kaepernick continues to own the Packers, and when it came down to it, he got it done against them yet again.
In the first quarter, it looked like it would be the blowout for San Francisco many predicted. The Niners were moving the ball, only to stall in the red zone and kick two field goals. The Packers offense surprisingly forgot to show up for the first 15 minutes, accruing just six yards and no first downs. In the second quarter, aided by a Tramon Williams interception, Green Bay finally woke up to drive the length of the field and score to take a 7-6 lead. This being the not very good Packers defense though (with the added whammy of losing Sam Shields early), they promptly gave the touchdown right back (helped by, of course, a big Kaepernick run). A late field goal by Green Bay made it 13-10 49ers at the half.
The third quarter was a deep freeze of offense, with the "highlight" being the Niners somehow using a timeout before running the first play of the half. The Packers would strike first with 12:06 to play on a 1 yard TD run by John Kuhn. The play everyone was talking about though was this ridiculous escape by Aaron Rodgers to get out of a sack and hit Randall Cobb for a big play. This being the Packers defense though, they gave the touchdown and the lead right back on this nice catch and throw by Vernon Davis and Kaepernick respectively. That set up the endgame and the final outcome.
For the Packers, it all seems familiar. Aaron Rodgers is awesome (when healthy), another NFC North title (as undeserved as it was), an inability to stay healthy, and at least for the second straight year, a playoff loss to San Francisco. Given the stability from Ted Thompson, Mike McCarthy, and Rodgers, the plan will likely be to get healthy, avoid big ticket free agents, tweak where they can, and try again. At least they finally have a stud running back in Eddie Lacy.
The Niners meanwhile move on to face the Carolina Panthers on Sunday afternoon, in a game that will drive old white sportswriters insane. The other NFC Divisional game is New Orleans at Seattle, a late Saturday afternoon kickoff.