San Francisco 49ers Announce Themselves as Super Bowl Favorite
Colin Kaepernick wasn't supposed to look that good in his first playoff game.
The second-year quarterback rushed for 181 yards and two touchdowns, passed for 263 and two more scores as the San Francisco 49ers crushed the Green Bay Packers 45-31 to advance to the NFC Championship Game.
On his second pass attempt of the game, Kaepernick threw way behind his intended target, and Green Bay cornerback Sam Shields intercepted the errant throw and returned it for a touchdown.
In that moment, I'm sure many 49ers fans were thinking, Alex Smith wouldn't have made such a bad decision.
By the end of the first half, any thoughts of wanting Smith to replace Kaepernick were long forgotten by fans of the Red and Gold.
After the interception, Kaepernick led three touchdown drives in half, finishing them off with two passing touchdowns and one rushing TD.
Green Bay tied it up in midway through the third quarter with a Mason Crosby field goal, but Kaepernick and San Francisco would run away with the game from that point on.
First, Kaepernick gave the 49ers the lead with a 56-yard touchdown run. On San Francisco's ensuing offensive drive, Frank Gore capped a 93-yard drive with a two-yard touchdown run.
The 49ers then put together another 93-yard drive, finished off by an Anthony Dixon two-yard TD plunge.
In all, San Francisco had 581 total yards, outgaining Green Bay by 227 yards.
Kaepernick broke a slew of records with his performance, but possibly the most impressive feat of all was tweeted by the San Francisco Chronicle's Kevin Lynch:
The Seahawks defeated the 49ers 42-13 a few weeks ago, but that game was in Seattle, where the crowd noise is deafening.
If the Seahawks beat the Falcons, they'd have to go to San Francisco, where the 49ers are 15-3-1 (playoffs included) since Jim Harbaugh became head coach at the beginning of the 2011 season.
In other words, I wouldn't bet against San Francisco.
With Kaepernick running the read option to perfection, while also attacking the opposing secondary with his arm, the 49ers have the offense to win shootouts.
And with one of the best defenses in the league as well, San Francisco has to be the favorite to win Super Bowl XLVII.
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