Here are the 49ers' grades for the defense and special teams against the Packers in the divisional playoff round:
Defensive line: B+
Justin Smith played for majority of the snaps on defense despite being limited with a triceps injury and did a good job at eating up the blocks. Issac Sopoaga and Ray Mcdonald were blocked for most of this game and this unit had trouble closing the gaps when the Packers ran the ball. DuJuan Harris was averaging almost five yards per carry which prevents this grade from being an A.
Patrick Willis was good at delivering pressure on Aaron Rodgers for most of the game, but like the defensive line, the linebackers had trouble stopping the run. Harris was pounding the ball up the gut and getting good chunks of yards in doing so. The coverage by NaVorro Bowman and Aldon Smith is the reason this grade is an "A". The Packers were unable to create the short passes as Jermichael Finley was limited by the this unit.
Early on, this looked like it would be a game where no defense would come, but the secondary is the main reason why the 49ers shut down the Packers. Tarell Brown had another great game by giving only two receptions as well as having an interception. In the start of the second half, they gave up some plays, but the damage was limited as they held the Packers to just a field goal. It wasn't until garbage time the stats were padded by Aaron Rodgers. If the last touchdown wasn't allowed, Colin Kaepernick would've had more rushing yards than Rodgers' passing yards for the game.
Special Teams: A
David Akers did his job by making his only field goal of the game from 36 yards. The play that will be remembered on special teams was C.J. Spillman falling on the ball from a muffed punt which sparked momentum and a comeback. Andy Lee's numbers were below his average in three punts, but he was called to pooch punt and still had two kicks inside the 20-yard line.
Vic Fangio put in another good game plan for Aaron Rodgers and their passing attack. If it weren't for a late touchdown drive, they would've held the Packers to under 200 passing yards. The Packers were playing catch up when they trailed and abandoned the running game and Fangio was prepared for it. He called some occasional blitzes for Patrick Willis while Aldon Smith and NaVorro Bowman showed why they're good in coverage. The Packers' offense was lost for majority of the second half with little production from any receivers.