The San Francisco 49ers (10-3-1) clinched a playoff spot with their 41-34 win over the New England Patriots (10-4) Sunday night in an instant classic game. It was a game of two halves with the 49ers dominating the first half and the Patriots mounting a historic comeback attempt that fell just short.
The 49ers jumped to a quick and early lead and this game looked like it was going to be a route in their favor. The 49ers were outpacing the fast-paced Patriots on their home field, something that was unthinkable to many. QB Colin Kaepernick played like a veteran who’s been there countless times before. He was oblivious to the pressure of the game. Early in the third quarter amidst the Patriots come back attempt the 49ers were driving down the field when Kaepernick threw an interception in the end zone. No one would have faulted Kaepernick for hanging his head but he didn’t. The very next possession he drove the 49ers downfield for a touchdown which prompted coach Jim Harbaugh to say “it takes some gravel in the guts” after the game when talking about Kapernick’s ability to come back after a mistake.
During his post game press conference, Kaepernick was just as calm and cool as he is on the field. When asked why he threw the ball the WR Michael Crabtree for the final 38-yard touchdown when the play was not designed to go to him he said, “He was open.”
“To me when I go out there I’m going to throw to the guy who’s open and you try to keep football simple so your mind can be clear when you’re on the field.”
This “poise that is beyond his years” according to Harbaugh shows with his play on the field and will be crucial for the 49ers as they make their Superbowl run in the playoffs when the pressure will be even greater than it was last night.