So about that chip on Aaron Rodgers' shoulder....Not so much. The San Francisco 49ers put together one of the best offensive performances in franchise history, setting a team record for total yards en route to a 45-31 victory over the Green Bay Packers. I admit that I was a bit concerned heading into this game, but Colin Kaepernick, Michael Crabtree and Frank Gore put together a performance unlike most anything we've seen.
The star of this game was Colin Kaepernick. That's a pretty Captain Obvious statement, but one worth making. Kaepernick set a franchise playoff rushing record, while also setting an NFL record for rushing yards by a quarterback in ANY game. Kaepernick finished with 183 rushing yards and two touchdowns, to go along with 263 yards and a pair of passing touchdowns. There were concerns early after he threw a pick-six two minutes into the game, but the young QB bounced back in a big way. If there were any doubts about Kaepernick before, he answered them on one of the biggest stages against a normally decent defense.
If Kaepernick was the No. 1 star, Michael Crabtree was No. 2. A year after struggling in the playoffs, Crabtree continued what has been a breakout season, catching nine passes for 119 yards and two touchdowns. Crabtree was Kaepernick's go-to guy all game long, connecting in virtually any situation.
Frank Gore deserves credit as well, somewhat quietly putting together a 100-yard performance. I call it quiet because it seemed at times like the 49ers were substituting in LaMichael James a bit more frequently. We'll see what the snap count says tomorrow, but it was a great day for Frank the Tank. He averaged over five yards per carry and was snapping off 10+ yard runs in the fourth quarter as the Packers defense was clearly worn out.
The 49ers now wait for the winner of the Falcons-Seahawks matchup on Sunday. That game kicks off at 10:00 a.m. PT, and naturally we'll have an open thread for it. The 49ers offensive effort was fantastic, but it will be a busy week of preparations for the NFC Championship Game. The 49ers defense picked up late, but there were enough early struggles to work on. Of course, Aaron Rodgers is a pretty good quarterback.
Whatever the case, the 49ers are going to the NFC Championship Game! That sounds pretty damn good!