Packers vs. 49ers final score: San Francisco advances with impressive 45-31 win

Stephen Dunn

Colin Kaepernick, Frank Gore and the San Francisco 49ers rushing attack absolutely decimated the Green Bay Packers to book a place in the NFC Championship game.

All things considered, it was a good season. The Green Bay Packers exceeded the expectations that everyone had for them when they were 2-3, but they disappointed expecting fans on Saturday night. Their defense was woefully unprepared for Colin Kaepernick and the read option, which destroyed Green Bay in the Niners' 45-31 win.

Things started out well for the Packers, with Sam Shields returning an interception for a touchdown on the 49ers' opening drive. From that point forward, Kaepernick did not make any major mistakes, and in the second half he was virtually flawless.

San Francisco answered with a touchdown drive right after Kaepernick's pick-six, but the Packers took the lead again before the end of the second half, through a DuJuan Harris touchdown run.

The Packers appeared to have control in the second quarter when they came up with a stop following their touchdown, but momentum did a complete 180-degree turn when Jeremy Ross muffed a punt return. The 49ers recovered and went on to score a touchdown. They wouldn't trail for the rest of the game.

Green Bay was able to keep things close into the third quarter, thanks to Aaron Rodgers. He found James Jones for a 20-yard touchdown late in the first half to tie the game, but the Niners were able to take a three-point lead into the locker room with a late field goal. The Packers answered early in the third quarter with a field goal of their own at the end of an eight-play, 76-yard drive, but the game would turn into a blowout shortly afterwards.

The turning point was a 56-yard touchdown run by Kaepernick on the following 49ers drive, gifted to him when Erik Walden committed inside and took his eyes off his assignment completely on a read option play. Kaepernick got to the edge uncontested, then took off down the field for a massive touchdown run. It was a back-breaker for the Packers, who never got back into the game.

San Francisco rammed the ball down Green Bay's throat en route to two more touchdowns to turn a close game into an absolute rout. The Packers defense had absolutely no answer for the Niners' rushing attack, as San Francisco picked up an incredible 325 yards on the ground.

Rodgers found Greg Jennings in the back of the end zone in the final minute of the game to make the scoreline a bit more palatable, but it was an ultimately meaningless score in a dominating win by the 49ers.

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