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Monday, 06 January 2014 11:07

Niners, Chargers advance

UNDATED (AP) - A couple of California teams proved they can adapt very well to cold-weather conditions. The San Francisco 49ers used a last-second field goal at Green Bay to advance to the NFL's division playoffs, while the San Diego Chargers played shutout ball in the second half of their game at Cincinnati.
     Phil Dawson drilled a 33-yard kick to give the 49ers a 23-20 win over the Packers in Green Bay. Colin Kaepernick (KAP'-ur-nik) kept the winning drive alive by escaping a blitz on third-and-8 and scrambling for an 11-yard gain to the 27 with 1:13 left. Dawson nailed the winning kick five plays later.
     The Niners lost three-point leads twice in the fourth quarter before advancing to the NFC divisional playoffs at Carolina next Sunday. John Kuhn's one-yard touchdown run put the Packers ahead 17-13 with 12:06 remaining, but San Francisco quickly answered back with Kaepernick's 28-yard TD pass to Vernon Davis just 1:35 later. Kaepernick later engineered the winning drive following Mason Crosby's game-tying field goal with 5:06 to play.
     Kaepernick was all over the field, rushing seven times for a team-high 98 yards and completing 16 of his 30 passes for 227 yards. The Packers also had trouble covering Michael Crabtree, who had eight receptions for 125 yards.
     Aaron Rodgers was 17 of 26 for 177 yards and a first-half touchdown. Rodgers wasn't intercepted, but he was sacked four times.
     The other NFC divisional playoff game will have the Seattle Seahawks hosting New Orleans next Saturday. The Saints advanced by beating Philadelphia 26-24 on Shayne Graham's field goal.
     The AFC divisional playoffs are set, and the San Diego Chargers will be in Denver to take on the Broncos next Sunday.
     The Chargers advanced by outscoring the Bengals 20-0 in the second half of a 27-10 victory at Cincinnati. The Bengals led 10-7 until Philip Rivers hit Ladarius Green for a four-yard touchdown with 6:36 left in the third quarter. Nick Novak followed with a pair of field goals, and Ronnie Brown put the game out of reach by running 58 yards for a touchdown with 2:17 to play.
     Rivers was 12 of 16 for 128 yards and no interceptions.
     Bengals quarterback Andy Dalton finished with 334 passing yards but committed three turnovers in the second half, including a pair of interceptions.
     The other AFC divisional game will have the New England Patriots hosting Indianapolis next Saturday.
     And so much for home-field advantage or halftime leads. Three of the four home teams lost this weekend, and the Indianapolis Colts needed to storm back from a 28-point deficit to beat the visiting Kansas City Chiefs. The 49ers were the only team to win after carrying a lead into the second half.