Let’s get one thing straight from Sunday’s game between the Packers and the 49ers. The Niners were lucky to get out of there with a win. Everything about the game had that Packers-are-destined-to-advance type feeling. The Niners completely dominated the first quarter, only to come away with two field goals despite being first and goal inside the 7-yard line two different times.1 We also burned our first two timeouts of each half within a few minutes, but I think that was just Jim Harbaugh’s way of playing down to Mike McCarthy. Like when you spot your little cousin the first seven points in a pickup game.
But let’s get to the play where I knew, for sure, that the Packers were going to win. 13:28 left in the 4th, Niners winning 13-10, Packers on the San Francisco 30 yard line, 4th and 2: Aaron Rodgers is stuck in the pocket, with Niners defensive tackle Ray McDonald all over him, about to bring him down for a sack (with the help of Ahmad Brooks. Then, out of nowhere, Rodgers somehow escapes the pocket in the luckiest, most Eli-Manning-Super-Bowl-Helmet-Catch type way2 and throws a 26 yard dart to Randall Cobb; first and goal Packers at the 4-yard line. If that play doesn’t scream, “You’re screwed, we’re getting every break and winning this game”, then I don’t know what is.
By the way, I’d like to issue a warning to those slobbering over Colin Kaepernick’s performance. He did not play well on Sunday. Aside from missing numerous open receivers, he was extremely lucky to be only intercepted once, instead of thrice3. On their first possession, Kaepernick was almost picked off in the endzone by Tramon Williams, who dropped what would’ve been a sensational one-handed interception. And then on the Niners final drive, Kap made a bad decision on an out-route to Anquan Boldin that should’ve been intercepted by Micah Hyde. It was in Hyde’s hands, and he dropped it. Those two plays are the game right there. Kaepernick made some excellent plays with his arm and his legs in the 4th, but he needs to play exponentially better next week in Carolina for the 49ers to have any shot at advancing.
When the Panthers came to San Francisco in Week 10, I had the pleasure of being in attendance. And in my only experience in the cesspool that is Candlestick Park, aside from having the pleasure of seeing some of the worst 49er fans in the history of sports, I watched Carolina take down the Niners in excruciating fashion.
Check in later this week for the entire breakdown of this Sunday’s game in Carolina. Or don’t. It’s your choice, there’s no need to be all rude about it.