Colin Kaepernick lifts 49ers past Packers, into NFC title game
San Francisco, CA, United States (4E Sports) – Quarterback Colin Kaepernick accounted for four touchdowns as the San Francisco 49ers booked a spot in the NFC Championship Game for the second straight year after trouncing the Green Bay Packers, 45-31, Saturday at Candlestick Park.
Kaepernick shone in his first career playoff start, running for a quarterback-record 181 yards and two touchdowns, breaking the rushing mark of 173 yards set by Michael Vick with the Atlanta Falcons in 2002.
He also completed 17 of 31 passes for 263 yards and two scoring strikes to Michael Crabtree as the 49ers earned a showdown against the winner of the Seattle Seahawks-Atlanta Falcons tilt.
The second-year pro also made it to the record books as one of three players in league history with two rushing and two passing touchdowns in a playoff game, joining Jay Cutler (2011) and Otto Graham (1954 and 1955).
Behind Kaepernick,, the 49ers gained 579 yards against the Packers, their most in a playoff game in franchise history.
Crabtree tallied 119 yards on nine catches and two scores while running back Frank Gore rushed for 119 yards on 23 carries and a score. Anthony Dixon also added a two-yard touchdown run for the 49ers (12-4-1).
Reigning NFL MVP Aaron Rodgers completed 26 of 39 passes for 257 yards and touchdown passes to wide receivers Greg Jennings and James Jones for the Packers (11-5).
The Packers receiving corps kept up with their 49ers counterparts, tallying a total of 257 yards, led by Jones’ 87 yards on four receptions.
However, the Packers ground game was a big disappointment, producing a measly 104 yards with DuJuan Harris leading the way with 53 yards on 11 carries and a score.
Cornerback Sam Shields put the Packers on the board after intercepting a pass by Kaepernick and returning it for a 57-yard touchdown.
Kaepernick atoned for his mistake by rushing for a 20-yard touchdown to tie the game at seven apiece.
Harris ended the first quarter with an 18-yard touchdown run to give the Packers a 14-7 lead. In the second period, Kaepernick found Crabtree for back-to-back touchdown passes from 12 and 20 yards to put the 49ers ahead, 21-14.
Rodgers then broke his silence with a 20-yard scoring pass to Jones to tie the count but David Akers buried a 36-yard field goal to five San Francisco a 24-21 lead at the break.
The Packers tied the game for the last time behind a 31-yarder by Mason Crosby before the 49ers scored three straight touchdowns for a 45-24 advantage.