See Colin throw. See Colin run. See Colin dash the Super Bowl aspirations of the Green Bay Packers.
Playing in his first postseason contest, Colin Kaepernick, the second-year signal caller for the 49ers, engineered a near flawless San Francisco offensive attack on Saturday evening at Candlestick Park to unceremoniously end the Green Bay Packers’ 2012 campaign and book his team’s trip to the NFC title game for the second consecutive season.
Amassing a franchise-record 579 yards of total offense (headlined by the 444 accrued by Kaepernick through the air and on the ground), San Francisco put its championship credentials on full display in upending Green Bay, 45-31, for the second time this season.
While the 49ers put forth eye-brow raising numbers on offense, the Packers, who fell to 30-18 all time in postseason play, infamously put their names in the franchise’s history books on the defensive side of the ball.
The 579 yards allowed by Green Bay marked a postseason record for the Packers. Furthermore, the 25-year-old Kaepernick, a Milwaukee native, complimented his 263 yards passing with 181 yards rushing—a single-game record for an NFL quarterback—and was responsible for the first three San Francisco scores.
Additionally, running back Frank Gore gashed the Packers, who allowed 29 first-downs and saw the 49ers convert 61.5 percent (8-of-13) of their third downs on the evening, for 119 yards and two touchdowns on 23 carries.
Toss is 119 receiving yards for Michael Crabtree while allowing three offensive plays resulting in at least 44 yards, and it is safe to assume that Saturday afternoon’s performance was not what Green Bay, who have now been ousted in the divisional round of the playoffs for the second consecutive season, envisioned.
The end result, though, was anything but a certainty during the game’s first half.
Green Bay got on the board within the game’s first two minutes courtesy of a pick-six by Sam Shields and, following an 18-yard touchdown run by DuJuan Harris, led 14-7 after the opening period.
Kaepernick, making his eighth career start, put the 49ers ahead, 21-14, as he engineered scoring drives of 42 and 33 yards—with each culminating via touchdown catches by Crabtree.
Green Bay knotted the score at 21 apiece with 2:33 left in the second quarter courtesy of a 20-yard touchdown pass by Aaron Rodgers, who fell to 5-3 in the playoffs as a starter, to James Jones, but trailed at halftime, 24-21, following a 36-yard field goal from David Ackers as time expired.
From there, the 6’4”, 230-pound Kaepernick ensured that the Packers would leave the Bay Area empty handed.
The 36th overall selection in the 2011 draft, Kaepernick, following a field goal by Mason Crosby on the Packers’ second possession of the third quarter, scampered for a 56-yard touchdown (the longest play of the game) on second-and-four to give the Niners a lead they would not relinquish.
Gore, who ran for 119 yards against Green Bay in the team’s opening-week matchup, scored on a two-yard run three seconds into the fourth quarter to extend the 49er advantage to 38-24. The Packer offense, which accounted for 352 yards on the evening, however, was unable to keep pace with their conference foe en route to the green and gold losing its first road playoff game since falling to the Arizona Cardinals on January 10, 2010.
“It feels good. We’re one step closer to where we want to be,” cited Kaepernick, according to the AP. “I feel like I had a lot to prove. A lot of people doubted my ability to lead this team.”
San Francisco, who trumped the Packers in total plays ran, 75-56, stretched its lead to 45-21 courtesy of an Anthony Dixon two-yard touchdown run with 3:34 remaining. Rodgers’ second touchdown pass of the game, to Greg Jennings, concluded the scoring on the evening and put a bow on the Packers’ season.
So, while the Niners await their fate for the NFC title game (either hosting the Seahawks or traveling to Atlanta) next Sunday, the Green Bay Packers, begrudgingly, head back to Titletown with the offseason having arrived much sooner than desired.