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Fans, players brave Lambeau chill

GREEN BAY, Wis. — Jeff Giardinelli embraced the cold outside Lambeau Field dressed in a No. 8 Steve Young jersey, red 49ers knit cap and Candlestick Park-themed scarf.

He'll remember his first visit to Green Bay for a while, and not just because his team won 23-20 Sunday on a last-second field goal to beat the Packers.

An arctic front pushing through the Midwest made the game one of the coldest in NFL history. The meat-locker conditions put a chill on outdoor tailgating and had fans heading into Lambeau early to warm up with free coffee and hot chocolate.

"Refreshing," Giardinelli of Fresno, Calif., said as he walked with friend Jeff Morgan. "We suited up, we brought all the snowboarding gear we use out there and added to it."

Morgan wasn't as convinced.

"He says 'refreshing.' I say it's cold as heck," said Morgan, also from Fresno. He's not a 49ers fan but wanted to see what he called the "Lambeau atmosphere."

During its telecast, Fox reported the temperature dipped to 2 degrees and the wind chill was minus-11.

"It is not that cold, it is all mental," 49ers QB Colin Kaeper­nick said. "Just look at Bow (All-Pro LB NaVorro Bowman) with no sleeves."

The coldest NFL game on record is the 1967 Championship Game, known as the "Ice Bowl," when Green Bay beat Dallas 21-17 at Lambeau Field on New Year's Eve. The temperature that day fell to minus-13, and the wind chill minus-48.

Out of my way: Packers LT David Bakhtiari forced his way back on to the field for a play while being evaluated for a concussion against the 49ers, Fox reported.

Reporter Pam Oliver said Bakhtiari took part in an extra point after getting hurt during a play on which teammate John Kuhn scored a 1-yard touchdown with 12:06 left. Bakhtiari then went to the locker room for further evaluation. He was eventually diagnosed with a concussion and did not return.

Spokesmen for both the league and the Packers said they were looking into the report. The NFL is strict on concussion diagnosis protocols.

Banged up: Packers CB Sam Shields and OLB Mike Neal left in the first half with knee injuries. Shields left on the second play of the 49ers' first possession after hurting his left knee. Neal appeared to hurt his right knee a few plays later.

Notable: The league fined Seahawks RB Marshawn Lynch $50,000 for violating media policy. Lynch stepped in front of a camera Friday and spoke for less than 90 seconds — his first time taking questions all season, having politely declined every previous time. … San Diego earned its first road playoff win in an open-air stadium since beating Pittsburgh 17-13 for the AFC title on Jan. 15, 1995. … Marvin Jones caught eight passes for 130 yards, a Bengals playoff record. … The Saints and Chargers both won as the sixth and final seeds from their conferences, the first time both No. 6s advanced since 2010. That year, the Packers, the No. 6 seed in the NFC, won the Super Bowl. … On Saturday, the Colts earned their first postseason win without Peyton Manning or Jim Harbaugh at quarterback since Johnny Unitas started for the then-Baltimore Colts in 1971.

Wild Card Division Round AFC title

Super Bowl XLVIII

6:30 p.m., Feb. 2

MetLife Stadium, E. Rutherford, N.J.

TV: Ch. 13

NFC title Division Round Wild Card
3. at Bengals 10 3. at Eagles 24
6. Chargers (10-7) 6. Saints (12-5)
6. Chargers 27 4:40 Sunday, Ch. 10 4:30 Saturday , Ch. 13 6. Saints 26
1. at Broncos (13-3) 3

Jan. 19

Ch. 10

6:30

Jan. 19

Ch. 13

1. at Seahawks (13-3)
AFC NFC
2. at Patriots (12-4) 2. at Panthers (12-4)
4. at Colts 45 8:15 Saturday, Ch. 10 1 Sunday, Ch. 13 4. at Packers 20
4. Colts (12-5) 5. 49ers (13-4)
5. Chiefs 44 5. 49ers 23

Fans, players brave Lambeau chill 01/05/14 [Last modified: Monday, January 6, 2014 12:00am]
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