Monday 20 November 2017

Last-gasp Dawson sees off Packers

Jan 5, 2014; Green Bay, WI, USA; San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick (7) talks with Green Bay Packers wide receiver Randall Cobb (18) after the 2013 NFC wild card playoff football game at Lambeau Field. San Francisco 49ers defeat the Green Bay Packers 23-20. Mandatory Credit: Mike DiNovo-USA TODAY Sports
Jan 5, 2014; Green Bay, WI, USA; San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick (7) talks with Green Bay Packers wide receiver Randall Cobb (18) after the 2013 NFC wild card playoff football game at Lambeau Field. San Francisco 49ers defeat the Green Bay Packers 23-20. Mandatory Credit: Mike DiNovo-USA TODAY Sports

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

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 champs came away with a huge win in conditions that resembled a meat locker. It was five 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.

Next week's fixtures (Irish time)

Saturday -- NFC Divisional Round: New Orleans Saints at Seattle Seahawks, 9.35pm.

Sunday -- AFC Divisional Round: Indianapolis Colts at New England Patriots, 1.15am; NFC Divisional Round: San Francisco 49ers at Carolina Panthers, 6.05pm; AFC Divisional Round: San Diego Chargers at Denver Broncos, 9.40pm.

Irish Independent

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