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NFL Green Bay PackersSan Francisco 49ers

5 Key Players In San Francisco 49ers’ Victory Over Green Bay Packers

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San Francisco 49ers: 5 Players Who Led Victory Over Packers

Derick E Hingle-USA TODAY Sports

The San Francisco 49ers defeated the Green Bay Packers 23-20 at the frigid tundra of Lambeau field and now continue on their quest for a sixth title. The win did not come easy for the 49ers, but determination and heart propelled San Francisco to a victory and earned the team a trip to Carolina next week. San Francisco has cleared one hurdle and are looking for the first title in years, but it will not come easily as the 49ers' toughest tests are still to come. Do the 49ers have what it takes to hoist the Lombardi Trophy?

The 49ers offense was efficient in the first half, but had to settle for field goals on several drives after sputtering in the red zone. The 49ers were ahead the majority of the game until the Packers found a rhythm on offense and pulled ahead in the fourth quarter. The 49ers were forced to come back multiple times in the fourth quarter and did not seize control of the contest until the waning seconds of the game. The defense controlled the first half for the 49ers and the offense lifted the team in the second half, but a greater production on both sides of the ball is needed if the 49ers want to make a deep run in the playoffs.

San Francisco has proven the team can pull games out of the fire, but can the 49ers manage to put together a complete performance from start to finish? One mark of a championship contender is the ability to win close games. San Francisco is experienced in that department, but will the 49ers' passive play cost the team a shot at the title? The 49ers are the team with the most momentum going into the divisional round, but which team will show up for this pivotal playoff matchup?

Many players were instrumental in the defeat at Green Bay, but several players stood out and became key contributors in ousting the Packers from the playoffs. When the game was on the line, these superstars stepped into their roles and delivered a knockout blow.

Greg Douglas is an NFL writer for Follow him on twitter @thegpd93 or add him to your Google Network.

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5. Colin Kaepernick

Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports

Colin Kaepernick's performance was one for the ages as he sliced the Cheeseheads on the ground and through the air. Kaepernick has delivered an All-Pro performance every time he has faced the Packers and become Green Bay's worst nightmare. Kaepernick threw for 227 yards and a touchdown in the win, but it was his legs that catapulted the 49ers to a win. Kaepernick ran for 98 yards, and some of his scrambles came at the most crucial points in the game. Kaepernick set up the game-winning field goal on a third-down scramble that allowed the 49ers to milk the rest of the game clock. Kaepernick has proven that he does not shy away from the pressure and is a proven playoff contributor, so the only question is what will he do next?

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4. Michael Crabtree

Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports

Michael Crabtree has rescued the 49ers from mediocrity and had his first breakout performance of the season in the game against the Packers. Crabtree had been sidelined with an injury for the majority of the season, but since his return the team has played with more confidence and finally look like a championship caliber squad. While Anquan Boldin feasted on Green Bay's weak secondary in Week 1, Crabtree took advantage of the same defense this week. Crabtree caught eight passes for 125 yards and was once again in-sync with quarterback Colin Kaepernick.

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3. Frank Gore

Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

Frank Gore did not have a huge statistical output, but his carries presented value and provided balance to the offense. Gore carried the ball 20 times for 66 yards and a touchdown, and he also added one vital reception for 11 yards. After the offense had struggled to reach the end zone, Gore delivered the first touchdown for the 49ers which set the tone for the rest of the game. Gore also helped the 49ers run the clock down on the final drive of the game which ended in the game-winning field goal.

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2. Phil Dawson

Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Phil Dawson continued his solid play against the Packers. After several special teams debacles of seasons past, Dawson has reassured the team and 49ers fans that he is a more than competent kicker. Dawson had already made several game-winning field goals this season, but the game-winning kick against the Packers was the most important one of all. Dawson made three field goals in the game including the 33-yard walk off kick to send the 49ers to the divisional round of the playoffs.

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1. NaVorro Bowman

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While other defensive players on the 49ers provide more name-value, NaVorro Bowman is the most consistent player on the formidable defense. Bowman is the heart and soul of the 49ers defense and continues to lead the team in tackles. Bowman had 10 tackles in the win including one tackle for loss in the game. Bowman continues to be an integral part of the defense and hopes to lead San Francisco to another world championship.