The San Francisco 49ers put together arguably the most dominant performance in franchise playoff history, defeating the Green Bay Packers in the divisional round. We take a quick early look at the dominant performance.
The San Francisco 49ers built their team around strong rushing, and they are getting a strong rushing day in their divisional round matchup against the Green Bay Packers. Of course, that performance is coming from QB Colin Kaepernick, and not running back Frank Gore. Through three quarters, Colin Kaepernick has rushed for 163 yards and two touchdowns on 12 carries.
Kaepernick's performance set the NFL postseason record for a quarterback, but it also set the 49ers single game playoff rushing record. The previous record was held by Roger Craig, who rushed for 135 yards on January 1, 1989. With a quarter to play, Kaepernick has a chance to add to his record.
Kap has been a strong scrambler since taking over as starting quarterback, but this game has seen him more willing to pull the ball down and run. Additionally, he has been more open to holding on to the ball on the read option. He would run in the regular season, but the read option was often more about the running back getting the ball. Maybe Kap was and the 49ers were playing possum a little bit.
The San Francisco 49ers and Green Bay Packers are in the middle of a shootout, but one has to wonder if the 49ers will be without a key piece at some point in the near future. Left tackle Joe Staley is still in the game, but he is clearly dealing with some kind of right arm injury. This GIF shows Staley after one play shaking his arm quite violently.
Several other replays have shown Staley grimacing and holding the arm throughout the first half. Since Staley has not left the field, there has not been an update from team officials. He has been working with medical personnel in between offensive drives, but otherwise he has been continuing to play. Unless he leaves the team, we likely are left to wonder what the issue is. For now, the big man is fighting through the pain.
The 49ers and Packers currently sit tied at 21, heading into the final two minutes of the second quarter.
The San Francisco 49ers benefited from a huge second quarter turnover, which put them in position to tie the game at 14. Packers punt returner Jeremy Ross came on after a 49ers drive stalled out and proceeded to muff the punt. Ross replaced Randall Cobb as the Packers have felt he has been relatively ineffective recently. It will be interesting to see if Cobb makes his way back out for future returns.
This GIF just about explains how Ross feels with the fumble.
The 49ers started the ensuing drive at the nine yard line. The first two plays of the drive were not pretty. Clay Mathews deflected a pass attempt to Bruce Miller. That was followed by a bad snap that saw Colin Kaepernick not ready. On third and goal from the 12, Kaepernick took care of business though, as he connected with Michael Crabtree for a game-tying touchdown.
The 49ers have just picked Aaron Rodgers and have the ball at mid-field, tied 14-14.
The 49ers and Packers start time has been delayed to 5:25 p.m. PT due to the crazy finish to the Ravens-Broncos matchup in Denver. The game was scheduled for a start somewhere around 5:10 or 5:15, but it is now scheduled for 5:25 p.m. PT.
The game is being delayed thanks to a wild finish in Denver, as the Baltimore Ravens forced overtime on a miracle throw and catch with 31 seconds left in regulation. OK, maybe not miracle throw and catch, but more like miracle blown coverage. Wide receiver Jacoby Jones slipped behind a stumbling Broncos secondary and just managed to haul in Joe Flacco's deep ball. It wasn't the prettiest of throws, but it got the job done and somehow forced overtime.
The 49ers and Packers now have to wait, and we are left to wonder how much of the edge this takes off before kickoff. Players are creatures of habit, and they are now forced to sit and wait a little longer. This will be something to watch early in the game.
The San Francisco 49ers earned a huge gift two weeks ago in Week 17 when they beat the Arizona Cardinals and the Minnesota Vikings upset the Green Bay Packers. The results moved the 49ers from the No. 3 seed to the No. 2 seed, earning the 49ers a much needed week of rest through the wild card round. The week likely boosted Justin Smith's ability to help the team, gave the coaching staff extra time to prepare, and of course gave the 49ers a home game in the divisional round.