Niners beat cold, critics, and Packers to advance

Jan 5, 2014; Green Bay, WI, USA; San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick (7) runs with the ball past Green Bay Packers cornerback Davon House (31) in the second quarter during the 2013 NFC wild card playoff football game at Lambeau Field. Mandatory Credit: Benny Sieu-USA TODAY Sports

Mandatory Credit: Benny Sieu-USA TODAY Sports

All week long, the talk between the San Francisco 49ers and the Green Bay Packers NFC Wild Card game had been about how cold it was going to be, and how the weather was going to affect Colin Kaepernick and the Niners offense.

It seemed, according to the NFL experts, that the cold weather would only affect the 49ers and not the Packers, as if Aaron Rodgers and Green Bay constantly played in the kind of cold experienced by both squads on Sunday.

In the end, the cold didn’t play as big as an x-factor as originally thought, but rather, it was the team that made the biggest plays at key points in the game that won it on Sunday afternoon. The big defensive stops by the 49er defense to hold Green Bay’s final drive of the 2013 season to only a field goal instead of a touchdown, and the constant big plays Kaepernick made with both his arm and legs, including several key third down conversions on the final drive of the game.

For the 49ers and their fans, the win satisfies the heartache of seeing the Packers from 1995 to 1997 knockout San Francisco from the playoffs. All the heartbreak and frustration seems so long ago now that the Red and Gold have ended Green Bay’s season two years in a row, this one sweeter than last considering that it was done in Green Bay.

With the win, the Niners advance to Carolina next week to play the Panthers, who defeated San Francisco earlier in the season 10-9 at The Stick. Back then however, Michael Crabtree wasn’t on the field, still rehabbing from his Achilles injury.

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