Packers vs. 49ers: Kaepernick Torches Packers Defense in Lopsided Loss

Andrew Garda@andrew_gardaFeatured ColumnistJanuary 13, 2013

SAN FRANCISCO, CA - JANUARY 12:  Wide receiver Michael Crabtree #15 of the San Francisco 49ers catches a touchdown pass thrown by quarterback Colin Kaepernick #7 against cornerback Sam Shields #37 of the Green Bay Packers in the second quarter during the NFC Divisional Playoff Game at Candlestick Park on January 12, 2013 in San Francisco, California.  (Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images)
Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images

Curb stomping.

That's the only way I can describe the Packers loss to the 49ers Saturday night, especially defensively.

Most of the damage came from Niner quarterback Colin Kaepernick. While he started out shaky and threw a pick-six to Sam Shields, Keapernick settled down on the very next drive and ended up leading San Francisco to both franchise and NFL record-yardage totals.

Dom Capers' defense had no answer for Kaepernick, and at times, looked as though they hadn't even planned for him in the first place.

Kaepernick ran out of the read option often, which effectively negated the pass rush for most of the game—especially Clay Matthews.

The Packers never really seemed to adjust to the various option looks San Francisco gave them and even when the Niners moved to a standard formation, they seemed slow and flat footed.

Tramon Williams especially looked awful and was just torched all night long. He wasn't alone as the entire secondary saw plenty of flags, missed tackles and the backs of 49ers jerseys throughout the evening.

Williams was the worst, though, and he found himself in bad position far too often.

Everything Packers fans were worried about might happen—missed tackles, penalties, a big deficit, Kaepernick running all over them—happened and more than once.

Offensively, the Packers had a very nice first half, but a rougher second. Once the defense folded in the second, Rodgers started pressing. A play such as a 3rd-and-4 in the fourth quarter with 10 minutes left where Rodgers went long and just had the ball come off Greg Jennings' outstretched fingertips was a killer.

Hindsight is 20-20 but if you go for a first, you keep the ball. Instead, they gambled, and as happened a lot in this game, fell short.

There's a lot to build on going into the 2013 offseason. DuJuan Harris was a diamond in the rough, and Randall Cobb continued to develop into a spectacular weapon (who wasn't used enough early in the game Saturday). Nick Perry and Jerel Worthy were both coming along before their season-ending injuries.

Greg Jennings will be gone but Cobb, Jordy Nelson and James Jones are very effective, even without him.

It wasn't enough on Saturday night in Candlestick Park, but it's plenty to build on in the coming months.


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