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Colin Kaepernick runs for a score.
Colin Kaepernick had an up-and-down game in his first playoff start.
Kaepernick's early interception was a bad throw, which came when he was flushed out of the pocket. He tried to force the ball to Vernon Davis, but the throw was late and off target. The poor decision resulted in an interception by Sam Shields, who took it back 52 yards for a touchdown.
However, Kaepernick regrouped and led the 49ers on a game-tying drive.
During the course of the game, Kaepernick missed an open Michael Crabtree, Randy Moss and Ted Ginn on deep throws.
Kaepernick made up for that with several good throws, resulting in him going 17-of-31 for 263 yards and two touchdowns.
On the negative side of the ledger, Kaepernick was flagged for an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty for taunting a Green Bay player after a 15-yard run.
Kaepernick generally made good decisions with the ball, throwing when receivers were open and running when he saw a hole. Kaepernick set an NFL record with 181 rushing yards.
Kaepernick ran for two touchdowns. The first rushing TD was on a 20-yard scramble in the first quarter, which tied the score, 7-7. In the third quarter, Kaepernick made his signature play of the game.
Green Bay had just tied the score at 24-24, when Kaepernick saw an opening and took off from the San Francisco 48-yard line. He flew past Green Bay defenders and sprinted 52-yards for a touchdown. This gave the 49ers a 31-24 lead, which they never relinquished.
Kaepernick had a roller-coaster game, but he came through when it mattered. He could easily have folded after the pick-six interception in the first quarter. Instead, he remained calm and focused, and brought the 49ers back.
This game showed the doubters why 49ers' head coach Jim Harbaugh chose to go with Kaepernick over Alex Smith. Some of the passes and runs Kaepernick is able to make are not possible from Smith.
This is not a knock on Smith, because he took the 49ers to the NFC title game last season and was having a very good 2012 prior to his concussion.
It is, however, a ringing endorsement of the faith Harbaugh showed in Kaepernick as the 49ers' starter.