Colin Kaepernick was born in Milwaukee, he grew up a big fan of the Green Bay Packers but he absolutely ripped the hearts of Packers fans out on Saturday as he and his 49ers stomped all over Green Bay 45-24 to advance to the NFC Championship game for the second consecutive season.
It was a back-and-forth game up until the third quarter, when it quickly became a blowout. The Packers struck first when Sam Shields jumped in front of a Kaepernick throw and returned it 52 yards for a touchdown. But while things looked ugly for Kaepernick out of the gate, he rebounded with an 80-yard drive that ended with Keapernick tying the game with his legs.
Unbeknownst at the time, but that would soon become the theme for the game.
DuJuan Harris scored his only touchdown of the game right before the second quarter began which sold the illusion that this would be a tight back-and-forth affair the whole way through. But in the second quarter we got a taste of how powerful this 49ers offense really is behind Colin Kaepernick, as they went on to score 14 unanswered points before Green Bay saw the endzone again.
San Francisco was sprinting at this point, and Aaron Rodgers and the Packers just couldn’t keep up with how fast things were moving — specifically Colin Kaepernick. The young quarterback who was making his first ever postseason start, smashed Michael Vick’s 2004 record for rushing yards by a quarterback.
His 181 yards is also a record for the NFL in general, not exclusively for a postseason game.
Vick’s playoff record was 119 yards, but Kaepernick bested it by over 50 yards finishing with a new record of 181 yards. His biggest run of the game came on a 56 yard dash that just brutalized the Packers defense and served as the fatal momentum switch in more than one way. Not only was it a touchdown that gave the 49ers a 35-24 lead, but it crushed whatever confidence that Packers defense had that it could stop this offensive onslaught.
Green Bay somehow found the endzone with under a minute left in the fourth quarter, but all the score did was make the score look a lot closer than it actually was.
An interesting storyline that is now nothing more than a footnote, is the fact that David Akers kicked a field goal on Saturday after almost losing his job due to accuracy issues towards the end of the season. Akers nailed all six of his extra points which means he finished with 9 of the 49ers final 45 points, something that will no doubt be the confidence booster he so desperately needed.
But the headline is Kaepernick and his high flying offensive leadership. People doubted whether he could lead the 49ers into the playoffs, but after a record breaking performance, it’s clear that Keapernick is not a fluke — he might be a champion.