Fireworks were a regular occurrence when the Green Bay Packers and San Francisco 49ers faced off in an NFC divisional matchup on Saturday.
Colin Kaepernick put himself on the national radar with a breakout performance that saw him rush for 181 yards and two touchdowns and pass for 263 yards and two touchdowns. His huge game spurred a blowout victory for the 49ers, as the home team won by a score of 45-31.
From start to finish, this game was full of highlights, and we've got all the biggest plays from Saturday's action for your viewing pleasure.
Inauspicious Start for Colin Kaepernick
Many wondered how Kaepernick would respond to playoff pressure, and he gave everyone a reason to question Jim Harbaugh on his second throw of the evening.
Rolling to his left, Kaepernick attempted to force a throw to Michael Crabtree.
Unfortunately for him, Sam Shields stepped in front of the ill-advised throw and took it back 52 yards for the game's first touchdown.
The Youngster Responds Well
Rather than shrink, Kaepernick responded to his mistake with an authoritative eight-play drive that chewed up 80 yards in less than four minutes.
Kaepernick finished off the drive with an electric 20-yard touchdown run to the left side, torching the Packers defense, which had brought pressure up front.
DuJuan Harris and the Pack Strike Back
The 49ers forced the Packers into a three-and-out on the next possession and then were forced into a punt on their next possession.
Then, Aaron Rodgers and the Packers went 80 yards in seven plays, taking less than three minutes. Harris capped off the drive with a quick-hitting 18-yard touchdown run up the gut into the teeth of the 49ers defense.
Michael Crabtree Scores the Game-Tying Touchdown
In response to the Packers score, Kaepernick and the 49ers attempted to hit back, only to find themselves in a punting situation.
Andy Lee kicked a beauty down to around the Packers 10-yard line, and Jeremy Ross muffed the punt. C.J. Spillman fell on the ball, giving the 49ers another chance to score the game-tying touchdown.
A few plays later, Kaepernick hit Crabtree in the middle of the field, and the 49ers wide receiver did good work to take it home.
Michael Crabtree Strikes Again
It didn't take the 49ers long to score again.
On their next drive, Kaepernick and the 49ers offense went 52 yards, with the drive ending on an absolute laser from the young quarterback to Crabtree on a post pattern.
The throw was perfect, and Crabtree deserves credit for holding on to the ball—a throw that couldn't have been any more rocket-fueled.
Aaron Rodgers and James Jones Tie the Game
In response to the 49ers go-ahead score, Rodgers put the Packers on his back and made a couple of big-time throws to get Green Bay in scoring range.
Then, he connected with Jones on a perfectly thrown pass that looked like it was shot out of a cannon for the game-tying score.
Kaepernick Goes Bonkers
Already having a huge game, Kaepernick broke the back of the Packers defense in the third quarter with this 56-yard touchdown on a designed quarterback run.
The Packers defense fell for the read-option, chasing LaMichael James instead of keeping anyone on Kaepernick, who galloped into the end zone without resistance.
This score put the 49ers up by a score of 31-24.
Frank Gore Gets In On the Action
After another dominating drive that took nine plays and chewed up 93 yards, Gore finally got in on the scoring action, scoring from two yards out on the first play of the fourth quarter.
Kaepernick hit Vernon Davis for a gorgeous 44-yard strike down the middle of the field during this drive—one of the many non-scoring highlights in this game.
This score put the 49ers up by a score of 38-24, and it heralded a blowout win nobody saw coming.
Anthony Dixon with the Dagger
After forcing the Packers into a punting situation, the 49ers took the ball from their own seven-yard line.
Eleven plays and 93 yards later, Dixon powered in the 49ers fourth touchdown run of the game from one yard out, capping a drive that consisted mainly of Gore and Kaepernick runs for big gains.
This touchdown put the 49ers up by a score of 45-24 and put the game out of reach for the Packers.
Rodgers Never Gives Up
Even though the Packers didn't have any real chance of coming back in this game, Rodgers and his offense played hard until the bitter end.
With just over one minute remaining on the game clock, Rodgers hit Greg Jennings on a three-yard touchdown strike to pull to within two touchdowns.
Unfortunately for the Packers, it was too little, too late.
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