With Phil Dawson's game-winning 33-yard field goal, the 49ers defeated the Green Bay Packers. Green Bay, the fourth seed, kept things close all game, tying the game late, but they were unable to contain QB Colin Kaepernick and the 49ers offense. Aaron Rodgers, in his second game back from injury, played fantastic, and was the catalyst behind the Packers effort.
Per Football Outsiders' statistic DVOA, the Packers defense was the second least efficient defense in the NFL this past season, however, they were largely able to hold Kaepernick, who finished 16/30 for 223 yards, 1 TD and 1 INT, and Gore, finishing with a meaty 3.3 yards per carry, in check. The Packers' achilles heel was in their inability to contain Kaepernick. The third-year QB destroyed the Packers with his scrambles; Kaepernick had a game-high 98-yards on the ground. Unlike Green Bay, the Panthers defense is disciplined; I wouldn't expect them to lose contain on Kaepernick as often as the Packers did. The 49ers and Panthers matchup next Sunday, January 12th.