Kapernick accounted for more than 440 total yards and four touchdowns for the Niners as San Francisco rolled to a 45-24 win over the Packers.
Aaron Rodgers looked good for much of the night, leading the Pack to tie things up early in the third quarters, but the Pack didn’t score the rest of the game.
Some early mistakes also killed the momentum for the Pack, turning the ball over twice in the first half and allowing the Niners to take control ahead of halftime. In the end, the Packers’ porous run defense was the difference, as Kaepernick, Gore and company ran for 325 yards and four scores on the night.
Now, the 49ers will be patiently waiting to see whether they’ll be traveling to Atlanta or awaiting a visit from Seattle for their rubber match.
Fourth Quarter, 0:53, 49ers 45-31: The Packers finally get back on the board, but it’s just too little too late.
Rodgers hit Jennings on a three-yard score, his second touchdown pass of the game, to get within two scores. The game is still two scores, though, so there’s really no hope for Green Bay.
They needed this fire much earlier in the night.
Fourth Quarter, 3:33, 49ers 45-24: And that’s all she wrote, folks.
The 49ers just ran all over the Packers’ defense, rushing off for more than 320 yards on the ground, and what is now three touchdowns.
The fact is you don’t win a playoff game being that deficient in one facet of the game.
Fourth Quarter, 6:33, 49ers 38-24: Adrian Peterson ran for over 400 yards in two games against the Packers this season, but Green Bay’s run defense is even worse than advertised.
Between Kaepernick, Gore and LaMichael James, the 49ers have run for more than 300 yards — you read that right — against the Packers tonight.
It’s so disappointing to see such a talented team have such a glaring hole that really makes the difference in a big game like this.
Fourth Quarter, 11:33, 49ers 38-24: Missing on big plays like that aren’t going to earn Greg Jennings the sort of money he’ll be asking for this offseason.
Jennings was hurt for most of the season, so that already limited his potential on the market this offseason, but dropping massive game-changing passes like that from Rodgers can change the opinions of teams.
Fourth Quarter, 14:57, 49ers 38-24: Two scores, and this game could be over real soon.
Kaepernick is just feasting on the Packers ugly defensive outing, and Frank Gore just benefitted to put the Niners up by 14.
Rodgers needs a herculean effort — that’s right, herculean — for the Packers, and now.
End Third Quarter, 49ers 31-24: This is becoming the Colin Kaepernick show.
The way he’s dominating this game almost feels like how Johnny Manziel dominated subpar defenses for Texas A&M this season.
He’s thrown for 232 yards, run for 163 and accounted for four touchdowns.
The Packers need an answer and fast, otherwise this game will be wrapped up.
Third Quarter, 7:04, 49ers 31-24: Kaepernick’s big day continues.
This kid is not just an athlete, but he’s making some unbelievable plays that would make any quarterback jealous.
He’s literally running (163 rushing yards) with the speed of Michael Vick, but has been throwing (two touchdowns) with the precision of Aaron Rodgers.
The 49ers are lucky to have Kaepernick running their offense right now, and all those Alex Smith apologists must be shutting up around the country.
Third Quarter, 8:44, 24-24: So, the Packers do have wide receivers not named Jones, huh?
James Jones was the only receiver making any sort of plays in the first half. Greg Jennings and Randall Cobb decided to get in on the mix during the last drive, though.
Cobb caught a few balls and ran off for 19 yards earlier in the drive, while Jennings snagged a ball for 30 yards to help spark things for the Packers.
Now, the defense has to keep Kaepernick and company at bay and get Rodgers the ball back.
Third Quarter, 11:56, 49ers 24-21: DuJuan Harris actually has the Packers running game in good shape on the night, but Rodgers needs to be better in order for the Packers to pull the upset.
Rodgers completed just five of 10 passes with a touchdown so far, but he’s also tossed an interception that proved costly. He and James Jones have found consistency on the outside, but he’ll need to be far more consistent against this secondary.
Halftime, 49ers 24-21: Colin Kaepernick stole the show in the first half and has the 49ers up by three at the half.
Kaepernick started this game with an ugly pick six that saw the Niners fall to an early 7-0 deficit, but he’s responded with a valiant effort to get San Francisco back on top.
He’s thrown two touchdowns and has already rushed for over 100 yards on the night.
Aaron Rodgers has tried to keep pace, connecting with James Jones (two catches, 64 yards) on a few big plays including a big touchdown strike before the half. Rodgers also has thrown a tough interception and the Packers have turned the ball over twice, which they can’t continue in the second half.
Errors will dictate the direction of the rest of this game, and if we’re putting stock in quarterbacks at least Rodgers has done this once before. Then again, don’t count out Kaepernick after that incredible half of play. We’re definitely in for a terrific second half.
Second Quarter, 2:33, 21-21: “Anything you can do, I can do better.” — what Aaron Rodgers should be saying to Kaepernick right now.
Kaepernick threw his second touchdown pass of the day to put the Niners up by a score, but Rodgers answered back with a few strikes of his own.
James Jones was on the receiving end of another strike to score, which was even more impressive considering the pass was an absolute dart. What a combination, these guys have built such unbelievable chemistry over the past few seasons, and leading the NFL with 14 touchdowns this season is just further proof.
Second Quarter, 5:23, 49ers 21-14: Colin Kaepernick is as talented as they come, which you saw on that drive, but he needs to grow up.
I completely get the emotion in a big game like this, that’s fine, but you can’t have unnecessary mistakes like taunting after a big run.
Right after a big mistake, Kaepernick makes up for it with a beautiful pass to Michael Crabtree over the middle to put the Niners up 21-14.
He’s such an enigma, but you can’t deny his talent. He’s just too good.
Second Quarter, 9:13, 14-14: Mistakes, mistakes, mistakes.
The 49ers are making the most of the Packers errors, and Rodgers’ overthrow is just the most recent example.
No one is going to be perfect in playoff football, especially considering the pressure and heightened play, but that’s two mistakes in a row and the 49ers have great field position (around midfield) yet again.
Second Quarter, 10:33, 14-14: The Packers just completely fumbled the momentum away.
Kaepernick’s early pick six was costly for the Niners, but Packers punt returner Jeremy Ross let the ball slip through his hands on a punt return and suddenly we’re all tied up again.
The Packers are on the road against one of the NFL’s best defensive units, and you can’t afford to make costly errors like that against this team.
Aaron Rodgers has a lot more pressure on him than he should now. This has been a game full of momentum swings, and I wouldn’t expect anything different the rest of the way.
End First Quarter, Packers 14-7: While most of you may have been finishing up over with the AFC divisional game — spoiler, the Ravens pulled off the upset win — then you missed quite the show.
Kaepernick threw a pick six to kick things off, then he managed a long touchdown drive to tie things up. But Aaron Rodgers and James Jones just propelled the Packers down field to put Green Bay ahead just before the second quarter.
The 49ers’ secondary better lock down from here on out, because Rodgers looks like he’s already feeling comfortable and San Francisco is not fit to make big comebacks.
First Quarter, 0:29, Packers 14-7: James Jone has been a big-play target for Aaron Rodgers all season, and he just proved to be that guy once again here in the playoffs.
Rodgers threw one up for Jones, and the big receiver pulled it down over the top of two defensive backs to put the Packers in prime field position. DuJuan Harris gets the glory of the touchdown, but Jones was the key to that score.
Jones will continue to be a major factor in this game, as it seems that Rodgers is most confident in him in big situations. Also, this 49ers secondary looks a big susceptible to the pass right now.
First Quarter, 1:31, 7-7: Randy Moss is a big-time receiver, and it appears that Kaepernick just remembered that Moss was on his team.
Two catches on one drive, and suddenly Moss is the most impressive player for the 49ers on offense. Let’s see if he makes an even bigger contribution as this game goes on.
First Quarter, 9:01, 7-7: Just when you begin worrying about Kaepernick, he makes an unbelievable run to pick up the game-tying score.
Kaepernick rebounded from the pick six to lead the Niners down field and then scored on a 20-yard run to tie things up. That’s an impressive turnaround, and maybe they shouldn’t be so worried about this kid after all.
First Quarter, 11:00, Packers 7-0: Colin Kaepernick made the first big mistake of this game.
With an errant throw across the middle, Sam Shield picked Kaepernick off and took him to the house to put the Packers up 7-0 early.
Kaepernick can’t keep making these types of mistakes, if the 49ers hope to have a shot against Aaron Rodgers.
8 a.m. ET: Aaron Rodgers is coming home for the first time in his NFL career, but his hometown team will be looking to make this visit one he’d like to forget.
Rodgers didn’t have his greatest showing against the Vikings on wild card weekend, but the Packers still managed a 24-10 win against a solid defense. Now he’ll have to counter one of the league’s best defenses in San Francisco.
The 49ers limited Rodgers’ production earlier this season in a 30-22 win, and with Dashon Goldson and Carlos Rodgers roaming the defensive backfield, they’ll try for a similar outcome this time around.
Colin Kaepernick is playing in his first career playoff game, and the second-year quarterback might have some difficulty against Clay Matthews and the Packers’ pass rush. Kaepernick’s speed and elusiveness made him more effective as the season wore on, but with guys like Matthews coming off the edge and Charles Woodson prowling in the secondary, Kaepernick might not have quite as big an impact.
A big part of the outcome will revolve around the effectiveness of both running games. Frank Gore has been consistent on the ground all season, while DuJuan Harris and Ryan Grant are hoping to combine to give Green Bay just as dangerous an attack. Establishing a presence on the ground will be key for both teams, but it may be even more important for Rodgers, as he needs time to throw from the pocket.
Kickoff is set for 8:30 p.m., and it will certainly be one to keep an eye on. Keep it locked here for all your news, notes and analysis throughout the day and the game.