I know that football is just a game, and I need not take it too seriously, there are more important things in life then the San Francisco 49ers (very few). But this was my actual reaction to my already least favorite player, on my least favorite team in the NFL’s cheap shot Colin Kaepernick. Seriously, I normally don’t get verbally angry at my TV when I am watching sports, but CK7, as my readers (the whole six of them) know, that’s my boy right there, and I take personal offense to anyone, especially University of Spoiled Children product Clay Matthews, my previously stated least favorite player cheap shotting my boy like that! I can honestly say there is only one other former player who I reserve the rest of the hatred in my heart for. I’ll give you a hint; he played for the same team as Matthews, and wore the number 4, my least favorite number. Seriously, just writing those made my blood pressure go up.
*Deep breaths Steve, in through the nose, out through the mouth, repeat, everything’s going to be ok, go to your happy place.*
Phew, ok, now that I am back in my happy zone, we can get on with the analysis: I loved what Kaepernick and the bonkers coaching staff that the 49ers employ did on Sunday in basically scrapping the read-option, and exploiting Green Bay’s weakest part of their defense: Their secondary. Coach Harbaugh, and Offensive Coordinator knew going in to this game, that Green Bay was waiting for the read-option, something that torched them in the divisional round of the playoffs last season. Roman and Harbaugh, and to an extent, Kaepernick saw that Green Bay’s defense would overcommit on what they thought to be read option plays and formations, and were easily exploited. Kaepernicks threat to run forced Green Bay’s safeties to watch the option, rather than focusing on simple coverage patterns, and forced Green Bay’s linebackers, Clay Matthews being the main guy, to spy the QB the whole game, rather than dropping back into coverage to guard the middle of the field, where Vernon Davis earned his money that game.
The 9ers coaching staff does the best job in the league of exploiting opposing teams weaknesses on both sides of the ball. If a team has a weak, or banged up secondary like Green Bay’s yesterday, they will go to the air, if they have a small, or weak front seven, they will employ the read-option, or hand the running backs the ball. The concept is the same on the defensive side of the ball. They will exploit a slower offensive line, or weaker receiving core by getting to the QB, and making him hurry his throws, and making the opposing offense one dimensional by shutting down the running game with the best front seven in the league. I was a bit concerned by the play of the secondary however. Aaron Rogers torched them for 333 yards, but, I suppose that is not necessarily a product of a bad secondary, but rather Aaron Rodgers being Aaron Rodgers, he torches everybody. I came away very impressed with rookie Safety Eric Reid. He showed that he can be both a ball hawk, with an interception and two breakups, and a devastating hitter, putting on big time hits on the Tight End JerMichael Finley and running back Eddie Lacey. He was the bright spot in the secondary for the Niners yesterday. I liked how Asomugha played yesterday too. He had a bad missed tackle, which resulted in a touchdown, but he made up for it with some good plays in coverage.
The shining star of the game though, was the guy that everyone was watching in the first place. Kaepernick absolutely torched the Packers by throwing for 412 yards and 3 TD’s. He showed that he can not only win games with his legs, but with his arm too, as he only had 22 rushing yards, and those were from scrambles rather than read-option calls. Kaepernick also showed great poise, answering with an 80 yard drive for a touchdown right after Green Bay took the lead. 200 of those passing yard yards came to new edition Anquan Boldin, who looked like the Boldin of old when he was lighting up opposing defenses opposite Larry Fitzgerald in Arizona. There is an argument to be made that he has the best hands in the NFL, aside from Calvin Johnson and A.J Green.
The rest of the league had better take notice from this game. The 49ers can beat teams in more ways than one, and they showed it in this game. Colin Kaepernick proved that he can light up opposing defenses even if that defense makes the Niners offense one dimensional, like Green Bay’s did yesterday. I personally would like to see more production from the other Wide Receivers on this team like Marlon Moore, Quinton Patton and Kyle Williams. They didn’t really need them in this game, but there will be a time when they are called on to step up, and that will be the true test of how good this offense really is. My favorite part of the game though, was the press conference where Kaepernick basically quoted Omar Little from The Wire in saying ” If intimidation is your gameplan, I hope you have a better one.” which really means “YOU COME AT THE KING, YOU BEST NOT MISS!” – Omar Little