Colin Kaepernick had the best game of his young career in a 45-31 victory over the Green Bay Packers on January 12, 2013, running for 181 yards and passing for 263 yards. The San Francisco 49ers gashed the Packers’ run defense for a total of 323 yards rushing and Kaepernick was the biggest reason why it happened. Early in the 3rd quarter, with the game tied at 24, Kaepernick faked a hand-off to LaMichael James and sprinted down the sidelines for a 56 yard touchdown. The Packers were dumbfounded on how fast Kaepernick was and Clay Matthews vowed if the Packers had another shot at the 49ers, they going to hit Colin Kaepernick as much as possible in an interview with 95.7 The Game.
The 49ers faced the Packers for the second consecutive season in week one and the Packers have not forgotten what happened in the playoffs last year. Their strategy was to keep Kaepernick in the pocket and make him beat them with his arm. Kaepernick did exactly that, but, with precision passing for 412 yards and 3 touchdowns, topped the Packers 34-28. It was the first time in his career he had thrown for 300 yards, let alone 400 yards. The Packers attempted to use intimidation on Kaepernick by hitting him every time he ran the football, but there was just one problem, he only ran the ball seven times for 22 yards.
The most memorable point in the game occurred in the 1st half when the 49ers had a 3rd down and 6 at the Packers ten yard line. On this play, Clay Matthews came out of nowhere and launched himself at Kaepernick, when Kaepernick was already out of bounds. This sparked a scuffle on the sideline with the result being off-setting personal foul penalties on Matthews and Joe Staley. On the next play, Kaepernick found Boldin on the slant for ten yard touchdown pass.
From that point on, Kaepernick shredded the Packers secondary like he did their front seven in the playoffs. He connected with Anquan Boldin for 13 receptions, 208 yards and that touchdown. He was also on the same page with Vernon Davis, who caught 6 passes for 98 yards and two touchdowns, something that rarely happened last season. He looked comfortable in the pocket, making all his receivers look better than they really were and once again dumfounded the Packers defense.
After the game, Kaepernick was asked about the hit he took from Matthews. Kaepernick had the perfect response, “If intimidation is your game plan, I hope you have a better one.” Which begs the question, what will Kaepernick do for an encore in Seattle this weekend?