NFC: Green Bay Packers 25, San Francisco 49ers 15
In frigid temperatures, the San Francisco 49ers came into Lambeau Field and stood toe-to-toe with the Green Bay Packers for most of the afternoon until being put away by a superb second half performance from Packers quarterback Brett Favre.
Favre completed 6 of 8 passes for 43 yards in the first half, including a 5-yard touchdown pass to Antonio Freeman that gave the Packers a 6-0 lead after San Francisco lineman Dana Stubblefield blocked the extra point. The Packers defense limited San Francisco to just 53 yards and a blocked field goal on their first four drives, but the 49ers closed out the half with a 15-play, 86-yard drive that took 7 minutes off the clock. Quarterback Jeff Garcia completed 6 of 9 passes for 61 yards on the drive, and running back Garrison Hearst capped it off with a 2-yard touchdown run to give his team a 7-6 halftime lead. It marked the first time Green Bay had ever trailed at the end of the first half in a home playoff game since the famous Ice Bowl in 1967.
However, Brett Favre dominated the 49ers defense in the second half, completing 16 of 21 passes for 226 yards and leading his team to four scoring drives. First, he led the Packers 72 yards in 12 plays, completing two passes for 21 yards to Bill Schroeder and a 22-yarder to Freeman en route to a 26-yard field goal by Ryan Longwell. After a San Francisco punt, Favre led his team to the end zone in just three plays, tossing a 12-yard completion to fullback William Henderson, following it up with a 51-yard strike to Corey Bradford, and then finishing the drive with a 19-yard touchdown pass to Bubba Franks with 3:26 left in the third quarter, giving the Packers a 15-7 lead after the 49ers defense tackled Donald Driver short of the end zone on a two-point conversion attempt.
In the fourth quarter, Hearst's 22-yard reception and 10-yard run set up a 14-yard touchdown pass from Garcia to Tai Streets, who also caught a subsequent 2-point conversion pass to tie the game at 15. But Green Bay responded with a 49-yard drive and retook the lead with a 45-yard field goal from Longwell. Then on San Francisco's ensuing possession, defensive back Mike McKenzie deflected a pass from Garcia into the arms of Tyrone Williams for an interception on the Packers 7-yard line. Favre took over from there, leading the Packers on an 8-play 93-yard drive for the game clinching touchdown, featuring two key third down completions to Driver. The first was 37-yard completion third down and 12. Later, Driver caught a 12-yard pass on the 49ers 9-yard line on third down and 6. On the next play, running back Ahman Green scored on a 9-yard touchdown run with 1:55 left in regulation.
Favre finished with 22 of 29 completions for 269 yards and two touchdowns, with 1 interception. Garcia completed 22 of 32 passes for 233 yards and a touchdown, with 1 pick.
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