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David Akers-Michael Crabtree Fake FG Touchdown: The New Young-To-Rice?

One of the more entertaining highlights of the 49ers victory over the Rams was the completely unexpected use of a fake field goal late in the third quarter. The 49ers were leading 20-10 following a Josh Brown field goal that kept the game moderately close. The 49ers started the drive at their own 18 and had driven down to the Rams 14 before stalling out.

On 4th and 7, the 49ers lined up for a field goal. The ball was snapped directly to kicker David Akers who threw to a wide open Michael Crabtree on the left sideline. There was a review of the play because there were questions as to whether Crabtree was allowed to hang out over near the sideline on a field goal attempt. The basic explanation was that Crabtree was in on the previous play and so due to that and some other details, he was allowed to stay outside the numbers. The Rams completely missed him and the 49ers got the easiest touchdown they'll score all year. It is worth noting the Patriots ran a similar play in 2004 when Brad Seely was their special teams coach.

Although the score ended up being pretty significant, there is some question about using that play leading 20-10 in Week 17. The idea being that the 49ers could conceivably have saved the play for the playoffs. The 49ers probably could not successfully run the play again this season since teams would be looking for it. However, if a situation arose, it is possible the 49ers could roll it out just to force the opponent to call a timeout. It might not work, but it is one more option in the offensive/special teams toolbox.

Head after the jump to view video of the perfectly timed fake field goal touchdown.