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Golden Nuggets: Just as good as we had to be

Monday, December 30, 2013 edition of the Golden Nuggets, a daily compilation of San Francisco 49ers links from around the Internet

Christian Petersen

The 49ers clinched the 5th seed in the NFC playoffs yesterday with a 12-4 record. We'll now take those 12 wins and travel to Green Bay who escaped with the last of their nine lives to finish 8-7-1 and somehow win the NFC North. My only take on that is thanks for nothing Chicago and Detroit... I've had a sneaking suspicion that we would end up playing Aaron Rodgers in Lambeau for weeks now. The Packers are like that kid in the neighborhood who follows you around even though you don't like him. All the thinly veiled insults just don't seem to get to him and the only way to get rid of him is to beat him in a football game. Yeah, my neighborhood was probably a little different than yours.

Aside from the Packers we actually played a football game yesterday against the red hot Cardinals. It was a pretty miserable game after the first quarter when all the creativity we showed in building a 17-0 lead was replaced with fullback dives on 4th and 1 and passing up field goals to push our lead for a failed 4th down attempt. NaVorro Bowman had an excellent game forcing two turnovers, getting a sack and generally being all over the field. Also, a really underrated story all week was Anquan Boldin returning to Arizona for the first time since leaving the team for the Ravens. The coaches clearly wanted to get him involved early and often as he had six catches and a reverse for over 100 yards and a TD in the first quarter.

The first or second seeds would have been nice but we all have to realize that either one was always extremely unlikely. If you were to have asked me who I wanted to win the pivotal NFC games this week I would have told you Falcons, Rams, Cowboys, and Bears. Naturally all four lost, but I don't think it really matters. For the the first time in the Harbaugh era the 49ers do not have a first round bye, and as much as we are going to have to suffer through the Aaron Rodgers rhetoric this week, the 49ers are on a six game win streak and are the "hot" team going into the playoffs. Does that guarantee a win? No, but it makes me feel better nonetheless. To the links!

Game Recaps Analysis and Reax:

49ers beat Cardinals, set up playoff trip to Green Bay (PFT)

49ers Top Cardinals, Earn NFC Playoffs' No. 5 Seed (49ers)

49ers heading to Lambeau after last-second win in Arizona (BASG)

Rapid Reaction: San Francisco 49ers

On to Green Bay: 49ers finish regular season with 23-20 win at Arizona (Branch)

(Updated) 49ers win on last-second field goal, will open playoffs in Green Bay on Sunday (Inman)

Dawson's field goal saves 49ers in 23-20 win over Cardinals (Gin)

Patton, Dawson Come Through for 49ers (NBC)

Full Highlights: 49ers vs. Cardinals (49ers)

Big-play NaVorro Bowman Leads 49ers in Arizona (49ers)

Phil Dawson Provides Game-winner in Glendale

Quick Take: 49ers at Packers (ESPN)

49ers have plenty of concern after escape win over the Cardinals (Gin)

Unlikely hero: Patton's catch leads 49ers to dramatic win (Barrows)

Patton adds to legend with clutch fourth-quarter catch (Branch)

Patton redeems himself with big play in 49ers' win (Maiocco)

Patton able to ‘go get it’ when 49ers needed clutch catch in final seconds (Inman)

Rogers leaves win over Arizona early with hamstring strain (Maiocco)

49ers notes: Carlos Rogers nicked; Staley's snag; Bowman DPOY? (Barrows)

Notes: Rogers to have MRI on hamstring; Bowman wants top honor; Boldin defers to Crabtree (Inman)

Anquan Boldin, Quinton Patton Step up for 49ers (49ers)

Boldin leads 49ers’ charge into the postseason (Branch)

49ers notes: Secondary shaky; Bowman has another huge performance (Branch)

San Francisco 49ers clinch No. 5 seed with game-winning kick against Cardinals (NFL)

49ers play with big picture in mind (ESPN)

49ers 23, Cardinals 20: Grades (Cohn)

NFL Playoffs:

NFL playoff schedule (NFL)

Wild Card weekend kicks off with Chiefs visiting Colts (PFT)

49ers open playoffs against Packers on Sunday (Maiocco)

49ers draw for the next two playoff rounds (Lynch)

In Other News:

BASG got some nice photos of the post game ceremony after last weeks win vs the Falcons. Former 49ers say goodbye to Candlestick Park (BASG)