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Colin Kaepernick is off to the races versus Green Bay in playoffs.
On NFL Total Access on the NFL Network last weekend, ex-NFL GM Charley Casserly wondered how well Baltimore will be able to defend the 49ers' read-option. Casserly pointed to Baltimore's game against the Washington Redskins and Robert Griffin III as the only true test they have had against a quarterback that runs something similar.
Against RG3 in the regular season, Washington averaged six yards every time that Griffin ran the ball to the outside on the option read. Whenever Griffin handed it off to Alfred Morris on the inside, the Redskins averaged seven yards per carry. If the Ravens can't improve those numbers against the 49ers, they will be in trouble.
With two weeks to prepare for the Super Bowl, one would assume that Ravens defensive coordinator Dean Pees will come up with a better idea of how to defend the read-option.
There will be tremendous pressure on Terrell Suggs and Paul Kruger to react properly and execute the Ravens' counter. If either player struggles, especially when Kaepernick keeps the ball, that could turn into huge gains.
Before we just assume that Pees can come up with a better game plan, we need to reflect on what happened to the Atlanta Falcons. Even though highly respected Falcons defensive coordinator Mike Nolan came up with a better plan to stop Kaepernick than Green Bay did, Atlanta still allowed Frank Gore to exploit big holes up the middle.
But every other opponent for the 49ers only had one week to prepare. We will see if the extra week off allows Pees to come up with a better solution.
For Baltimore, it boils down to the defense needing to pick its poison. Who do you want to stop, Kaepernick or Gore? Nobody has been able to devise a scheme to stop both players yet; you can try, but that might create a situation where both players hurt you instead of just one.