Clay Matthews launched himself at Colin Kaepernick. (Ben Margot / AP)

The Green Bay Packers, with a bunch of pent-up feelings from last year’s playoff game, were ready to yap at the San Francisco 49ers. They were ready to hit, too.

But Colin Kaepernick was unfazed, choosing to pass his way to a win rather than using his legs. He threw for 412 yards and three touchdowns in the 49ers’ 34-28 victory and delivered the coolest line of the day, too. Kaepernick was the target of a late hit by Clay Matthews, who launched himself at the quarterback out of bounds.

“That’s free yards for us, a free play. It helped our offense out,” Kaepernick said. “It doesn’t bother me. We talked to each other a lot today.”

That last line was delivered with a sly smile, and Kaepernick followed it up with the breaking-baddest quote of the day.

“I’m not worried about what people are saying. If intimidation is your game plan,” Kaepernick said, “I hope you have a better one.”

The hit triggered a momentary gathering in which players jawed at one another before officials broke it up. The refs were so distracted they gave the 49ers an extra down–and Kaepernick’s arm did the talking with a 10-yard touchdown pass to Anquan Boldin. Later, referee Bill Leavy did admit the zebras’ error.

Matthews wasn’t admitting anything and, by the end of the game, he and Kaepernick bore no hard feelings.

“First off, it wasn’t a very smart play,” Matthews said (via the Green Bay Press-Gazette). “I had already committed to hitting the quarterback, and I guess I should have figured he was going to step out of bounds. It was nothing personal. I went up to him later and was joking around with him. Not a very smart play.”

Matthews professed to be unconcerned about the fact that the 49ers’ possession might otherwise have ended on a field goal rather than a TD.

“Hindsight is 20/20. In a way it helped us out,” he said. “Maybe not my pocketbook though.”

That’s a given.

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