Niners edge out Packers

  • Last Updated: January 6 2014, 7:22 GMT

Phil Dawson kicked a 33-yard field goal as time expired to take the San Francisco 49ers past the Green Bay Packers 23-20 on Sunday night in a frigid NFC wild-card game.

Phil Dawson celebrates his winning field goal
Phil Dawson celebrates his winning field goal

In a back-and-forth fourth quarter, the 49ers threw the final punch. and Colin Kaepernick, who threw for 227 yards and ran for another 98, escaped a blitz on third-and-eight and scrambled for an 11-yard gain to the 27 with 1:13 left. Dawson nailed the winning kick five plays later.

The defending NFC champions came away with a huge win in conditions that resembled a meat locker. It was 5 degrees at kick-off, and the wind made it feel like minus-10.

San Francisco now play at Carolina next Sunday in the divisional play-off round.

Mason Crosby's 24-yard field goal tied it at 20 for the Packers 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.

Kaepernick connected with a spinning Vernon Davis down the seam for a 28-yard touchdown pass with 10:39 left. The score quickly answered John Kuhn's one-yard touchdown run that briefly gave the Packers a four-point lead.

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

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 San Francisco.

But it was Kaepernick who was the difference-maker once again in San Francisco's fourth straight win over Green Bay.

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