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NFL playoffs: Phil Dawson’s winning field goal warms up 49ers in frigid Green Bay
Question of the Day
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 offsides 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.”
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