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49ers beat the Packers 23-20 in a frozen Lambeau Field to win wild card

The San Francisco 49ers beat the Green Bay Packers 23-20 Sunday night in an NFC wild card game in Lambeau Field.

The 49ers beat the Packers 23-20 Sunday night in Lambeau Field.
©R. Allan Schnoor
Colin Kaepernick ran for 98 yards in 23-20 win over the Packers Sunday night
©R. Allan Schnoor

It's the fourth straight time they’ve faced each other in the past two years with the 49ers winning every game.

Two first-quarter Phil Dawson field goals put the 49ers up 6-0 early on the frozen tundra of Lambeau field.

An Aaron Rodgers’ 5-yard pass to Jordy Nelson gave the Packers a short-lived 7-6 lead early in the second quarter.

On the next drive, Frank Gore capped off a 5-play 68-yard drive highlighted by a Kaepernick 42-yard run to the Packers 13-yard line to put the 49ers back on top 13-7.

Mason Crosby would kick a 34-yard field goal before the end of the half to send the Packers into the locker room down 13-10.

No scoring in the third period kept the game nail-bitingly close for those who could feel their fingers in the sub-zero arctic conditions.

Aaron Rodgers handed off to John Kuhn three minutes into the fourth quarter to get the lead back for the Packers at 17-13.

On the next drive, Kaepernick coolly launched a 28-yard pass over the middle to Vernon Davis for the go-ahead touchdown deflating the spirits of the record Lambeau Field crowd of 77, 545.

The Packers answered with an 11-play drive of their own to tie the score at 20 after Mason Crosby’s 24-yard field goal with 5:09 left in the game.

Masterfully, Kaepernick and the 49ers would convert two long third-down plays to extend the last drive of the game that allowed Phil Dawson to kick the game-winning field goal as time ran out in the game and the Green Bay Packers season.

“A frustrating way to end the season. We thought it was our turn. The have athletic tacklers and they made the plays,” Aaron Rodgers said.

“It’s been 9 years now and these opportunities don’t come around very often.”

Rodgers added, “We’ve been to the playoffs five times and only won once, so that tells you something.”

Colin Kaepernick ran for 98 yards and was 16 for 30 for 227 yards through the air in conditions that would have made polar bears look for shelter.

Head coach Mike McCarthy and the Packers were close again to beating the 49ers but came up short.

“We were one play away again,” McCarthy said

“We were definitely challenged in the secondary and we didn’t get it done as far as keeping the QB in the pocket. We knew we had to score more than 20 points to win and didn’t get it done.”

The 49ers head home to prepare for the Carolina Panthers who they’ll play next Sunday in Carolina.

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