Candlestick Park has seen plenty of historic postseason performances, but before the San Francisco 49ers abandon the stadium after next season it was treated to one more classic. This time it was from Colin Kaepernick.
On the games fourth offensive play between the Green Bay Packers and San Francisco 49ers, it looked as if the inexperience of Kaepernick was coming back to haunt Jim Harbaugh. Kaepernick threw an interception that was returned 52 yards for a touchdown by Packers cornerback Sam Shields. However, by the end of Saturday’s NFC Divisional Round playoff game, Kaepernick made Harbaugh look like a genius, while also humiliating Green Bay’s defense with an NFL postseason record 181 rushing yards. Kaepernick scored an amazing four touchdowns in route to the 49ers 45-31 win over Aaron Rodgers and the Packers. The Niners advanced to their 14th NFC Championship game in franchise history.
With Kaepernick’s brutal takedown of the Packers defense with 263 passing yards for two touchdowns and 181 rushing yards for another two touchdowns, he engraved his name along side Joe Montana, Steve Young and yes, Alex Smith for postseason performances. But the 49ers franchise, and the NFL for that matter, has not seen before the type of performance Kaep had against the Packers. It shouldn’t surprise us that he shook off his interception early in the game. With his confidence and offensive line, he knew he could still trust his arm and when he needed to, use his legs if nothing was open. He had touchdown runs of 20 and 56 yards.
Not only did Kaepernick set the NFL record for most rushing yards by a quarterback with 181 yards, but he also had the most rushing yards in 49ers postseason history. Not to be forgotten, Frank Gore ran for 119 yards and a touchdown to help the 49ers finish with a total of 581 yards that broke their previous postseason record of 505 yards set in 1984. Michael Crabtree grabbed nine passes for 119 yards and two touchdowns for his best postseason game of his career. But Kaepernick was star of the show and stole the spotlight from Aaron Rodgers who finished with 257 passing yards for two touchdowns.
The celebration won’t last long for Kaepernick and the 49ers as they await the winner of the Atlanta Falcons vs. Seattle Seahawks game to play in the NFC Championship next Sunday. I am not one to cheer for a division rival, but here is the Seahawks Sea-sucks winning, just so we can have a revenge game on Sunday.
Stay tuned to Niner Noise for full analysis of the 49ers win.