Cary Edmondson-USA TODAY Sports
Final Verdict: Wild Card weekend ended just as it began: with a nailbiter.
Unfortunately for the Green Bay Packers, it also began just like the 2013 regular season: with a loss to the San Francisco 49ers.
The two teams battled both each other and the biting cold in Green Bay, but it was kicker Phil Dawson's 33-yarder as time expired on the Packers' season.
It's the second straight season ended by the 49ers, and the 23-20 San Francisco win is the team's fourth straight against Green Bay.
ESPN: 49ers (12-1)
CBS Sports: Tied (4-4)
NFL Network: Packers (2-1)
Bleacher Report: 49ers (9-3)
Overall: 49ers (26-10)
For one of these teams, the last game of the 2013 season will be the same as the first.
Way back in Week 1, the San Francisco 49ers downed the Green Bay Packers 34-28. However, much has changed since then for both teams.
The 49ers stumbled a bit after that game, losing two straight. Since then, though, the 49ers are 11-2, including victories in their last six games.
The Packers, meanwhile, have been on quite the roller coaster. With Aaron Rodgers sidelined for almost half the season by a broken collarbone, they appeared to be done. However, a combination of stumbles by the Detroit Lions and Chicago Bears and Rodgers' Week 17 return paved the way for a wild win over the Bears a week ago that sent the Packers back to the playoffs.
As the two teams gear up for a game that could be among the coldest in NFL history, most of the experts, including Bleacher Report NFL National Lead Writer Matt Bowen, have thrown their support behind the red-hot 49ers:
Jim Harbaugh's club might run the ball 40 times in this game against the Packers defensive front. And why not? Pound the ball with Frank Gore, create play-action opportunities for Colin Kaepernick and limit the explosive plays versus Aaron Rodgers on defense.
With that said, there are some pundits, such as NFL National Lead Writer Ty Schalter, who feel the Packers will prevail on the (really) frozen tundra of Lambeau Field.
"The 49ers have been the better team over the course of the season," Schalter wrote, "but Aaron Rodgers is the better quarterback. There's still a magic about Lambeau in the playoffs."