Much like the New Orleans Saints, the San Francisco 49ers go on the road in cold weather and kick a game winning field goal as time expires to pull off a narrow victory. The temperature really didn’t seem to have a major effect on this game. A couple of the throws that were made were under-thrown, but for the most part the ball came out clean and got to the intended receivers. Michael Crabtree was the man for the Niners in this game. He, as he has been all throughout his career, was Mr. Third Down; converting on third and long situations on a couple of times in the game. When these two teams first played, Anquan Boldin was the man who killed the Packers. This time around it was Crabtree. Vernon Davis also chipped in with a nice touchdown in the middle of the field in the fourth quarter.
The Packers’ offense was pretty stagnant through the first quarter. They were unable to do anything, until they got their ground and quick pass game going. Aaron Rodgers was under duress for a majority of this game (when he was forced to hold the ball). There were a couple of instances where he was able to move around in the pocket, escape the pressure, and either scramble for a first down or throw the ball down the field. There was an instance on a 4th and 2 (13:28 in the fourth quarter) where Rodgers was able to escape a sure sack and then toss the ball down the field to Randall Cobb for a 26-yard gain. This set up a one yard fullback dive by John Kuhn for the go-ahead touchdown. Rodgers played well in this game, but unfortunately for him and his team, they were not the last team to possess the ball in this one. That was San Francisco, and Colin Kaepernick did a great job putting together a championship drive in the waning moments of the game and sealing away the victory.
That final drive was a thing of beauty as far as San Fran is concerned. They held on to the ball for the final 5:06 of the game and drove it 63 yards in 14 plays for the “W”. The converted three different 3rd down situations, including a 3rd and 8 where Kaepernick was able to scramble for 11 yards. Had he not picked up the first down in that situation, this game almost certainly would have gone to overtime, a situation that probably would have favored the Packers, as their offense was beginning to heat up. Anyways, it was a good job by “Kap” to use his athleticism and escape to the outside and kill Green Bay’s dreams for the second year in a row and the third time in his career.
These 49ers are going to be a tough out for the rest of these playoffs. They can beat you in so many different ways. I have seen them run the ball, throw the ball, and play good defense. They may be the most complete team in football, and right now they are the hottest team in football. Carolina will have their hands full next Sunday when they host these guys. To me, the Niners are simply playing some good football, and they are probably the team to beat this January. It will interesting to see if these guys can get the job done on the road two more times. If they do make it to the Super Bowl, I can’t find any reason why they would not be able to win it all. Going on the road and clipping the Packers in icy weather says a lot about these guys and it gives them a lot of momentum as the head to the Queen City next week.