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Dawson's 33-yard field goal lifts 49ers to win over Packers

Phil Dawson celebrates his field goal
Phil Dawson celebrates his field goal
Jonathan Daniel / Getty Images

The 49ers escaped Green Bay with a 23-20 win over the Packers on Sunday afternoon. Colin Kaepernick is now 3-0 in his career against the Packers and 2-0 against them in the postseason. Jim Harbaugh now has a 4-2 postseason record in his third season as head coach.

Leading 13-10, the Packers and 49ers didn’t score in the third quarter, but momentum was on Green Bay’s side. Eddie Lacy continued to churn the 49ers run defense with 27 yards on five carries from that drive which ended the third quarter and started the fourth.

Aaron Rodgers pulled a Harry Houdini act escaping the pressure and finding Randall Cobb on third down for a 26-yard gain to put the Packers in the red zone. John Kuhn scored from one yard out as the Packers went up 17-13 with 12 minutes remaining.

On the following possession, Colin Kaepernick scrambled for 23 yards on a third and four. After a defensive holding penalty, Vernon Davis caught his second reception of the game as it was a 28-yard touchdown catch to put the 49ers back up by three points.

After the Packers tied the game on a chip-shot field goal by Mason Crosby, the 49ers were set up to take the final points of the game with five minutes to go.

Kaepernick hit Michael Crabtree on a third and 10 for a 17-yard gain to keep the chains moving. On another third down, Kaepernick scrambled for 11 yards to put the 49ers in field goal range. Phil Dawson nailed a 33-yard field goal at the final horn and the 49ers won with the final points of the game.

"I give them all the credit as this [field goal] end zone it was moving good left to right [and it was a] pretty good straight line," Dawson said. "You can't necessarily prepare for zero degrees. [This field goal] felt pretty good."

The 49ers started with a 6-0 lead after two field goals by Phil Dawson from 22 and 25 yards. What made this frustrating was how they were in the red zone twice and ended up with no points.

On the first field goal possession, Colin Kaepernick threw three incompletions and the 49ers elected to not run the ball when inside the 10-yard line. The 49ers didn’t score again as Kaepernick couldn’t complete a third down pass intended for Michael Crabtree.

San Francisco’s defense held the Packers to no first downs on the first three possessions, but things took a turn after Kaepernick threw an interception to Tramon Williams. The Packers drove down the field with ease with a 7-yard touchdown pass to Jordy Nelson.

Kaepernick and the 49ers offense responded as the quarterback scrambled for 42-yards on the ensuing possession for his longest run of the year. Frank Gore finished the drive with a 10-yard touchdown run up the gut which gave the 49ers the lead again at 13-7. The Packers added a 34-yard field goal by Mason Crosby to cut the lead in half.

Jim Harbaugh said players were clutch, where many players stepped it up when it mattered most. It took a full team effort.

"We've generated a lot of tough games [this year]," Harbaugh said. "Clutch performances by Crabtree, [Tramaine] Brock and Anquan Boldin."

Jonathan Goodwin praised Colin Kaepernick for escaping the pass rushers and making solid throws on third down. He said he is thankful the quarterback is on his team and not elsewhere.

"Colin [Kaepernick] is running for first downs and it hurts the [Packers]," Goodwin said. "Forutnately, he's on our team and he made those plays."

The 49ers will be playing the Carolina Panthers on Sunday at 10:00 a.m. PT for the Divisional Playoff round. Kaepernick said the team is ready after losing to them earlier in the season.

"We owe the [Panthers] for the last time they came into our house," said Kaepernick.


Game notes:

-This is the second consecutive week the 49ers have won 23-20 on the road with a Phil Dawson field goal being the final points.

-Jim Harbaugh now has a 4-2 record in the postseason.

-Michael Crabtree passed the 100-yard receiving yard mark for the second time in the 2013 season. He had 125 receiving yards on eight receptions.

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