The Packers defense forced five turnovers en route to victory, while Desmond Howard's key punt returns enabled the Packers to jump to a 14-0 lead after only 3 offensive plays. On his first punt return, Howard ran 71 yards for a touchdown. He then returned a punt 46 yards to set up quarterbackBrett Favre's 4-yard touchdown to wide receiverAndre Rison.
Early in the second quarter, defensive back Craig Newsome's interception set up the Packers third touchdown of the day. Newsome fumbled the ball while being hit during the interception return, but his teammate Sean Jones recovered the ball on the 49ers 15-yard line. Three plays later, Edgar Bennett's touchdown run increased the Packers lead to 21-0.
Two Green Bay turnovers enabled San Francisco to mount a comeback attempt. First, a 49ers punt bounced into Packers safety Chris Hayes and was recovered San Francisco's Curtis Bailey at the Green Bay 26-yard line. Six plays later, backup quarterback Elvis Grbac (Who had replaced injured starter Steve Young) threw a 6-yard touchdown pass to running back Terry Kirby with 24 seconds left in the half. Then the Packers fumbled the second half kickoff, and San Francisco defensive back Steve Israel ran the fumble recovery to the Green Bay 4-yard line. On the next play, Grbac's 4-yard touchdown run cut the score to 21-14.
However, the Packers marched 72 yards for another touchdown, in which a fumble by Bennett was recovered in the end zone by wide receiver Antonio Freeman. Later on, with 5:31 left in the game, Kirby lost a fumble while being tackled by Green Bay defensive back Mike Prior, and Hayes recovered the ball on the 49ers 32-yard line. 6 plays later, Bennett scored his second touchdown of the game to close out the scoring.
Because the weather dipped in and out of freezing causing both rain and snow, the field got extremely muddy as the game went on causing the Green Bay Press Gazette to call it the "Mud Bowl." Neither team had much success moving the ball on offense due to the field conditions. The Packers, who averaged over 345 yards per game during the season, gained just 210 yards, while the 49ers managed only 196. Bennett was one of the top players of the day with 80 rushing yards and two touchdowns, along with two receptions for 14 yards.