Colin Kaepernick has completely owned the Green Bay Packers throughout his short career. His first test against the Packers, he ran all over for them, amassing 181 yards on the ground and two touchdowns in a convincing win last season in the divisional playoffs, 45-31. His second test, he was a surgeon, slicing and dicing the Green Bay secondary, to the tune of 412 yards passing and 3 touchdowns in week 1, winning 34-28. But Sunday’s performance at Lambeau may have been his best performance against the 49ers rivals.
Playing in frigid temperatures with a wind chill reaching -15 degrees and Kaepernick refusing to wear sleeves, Kaepernick used his arm and his legs, leading the 49ers to one of their best playoff victories in franchise history. Lambeau has been a house of horrors for the 49ers and with the freezing temperatures exhibited on Sunday, most experts thought the west coast 49ers would not be able to perform under those conditions. But Kaepernick proved all the critics wrong in a victory, 23-20.
Kaepernick threw for 227 yards and a touchdown but won the game with his legs. Kaepernick ran for 98 yards, including a game-changing run on 3rd and 8 for 11 yards down the sideline to set up the game-winning field goal by Phil Dawson. He also had runs of 42 and 24 yards that set up touchdowns with the 49ers trailing in the game.
With the Packers leading 7-6 in the second quarter that was completely dominated by the 49ers, Kaepernick made his presence known with a 42 yard gain down the sideline. This set up a Frank Gore touchdown, putting the 49ers up 13-7. After another Packers score in the 4th quarter, Kaepernick went to work again but this time converted a huge third down, running to this left down the sideline for a crucial first down. This led to his only touchdown pass of the game to Vernon Davis and a 20-17 lead.
The first game against the Pack, he killed them with the run. The Packers tried to take that away in the second matchup and he carved them up with the pass. Now the Packers were clueless in the playoff matchup on what to do against Kaepernick and he responded by beating them with both the pass and the run. The 49ers will need him to continue his play against the Panthers and it will not be as easy against the Panthers’ stout defense, which is much stronger than the maligned defense of the Packers. If the 49ers want to win on Sunday, Kaepernick will have to play even better if they want to continue their journey in their quest for six.
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