Wisconsin State Journal from Madison, Wisconsin on January 13, 2013 · 26
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Wisconsin State Journal from Madison, Wisconsin · 26

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Sunday, January 13, 2013
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D4 SUNDAY. JANUARY 13. 2013 SPORTS WISCONSIN STATE JOURNAL 45 31 PACKERS REPLAY 1ST 2ND 3RD 4TH FINAL Green Bay 1 14 1 7 1 3 1 7 JFit SanFran. 1 7 1 17 1 7 1 14 BE1 Shields 52 interception return (Crosby kick), 12:48 My: Shields jumps in front of receiver and races down the right side. PACKERS 7, 49ERS 0 Kaepernick 20 run (Akers kick). 9:01 Drive: 7 plays, 80 yards, 3:47 Keys: Williams' defensive holding penalty on third-and-2 extends drive; Kaepernick to Gore on a 45-yard catch-and-run on third-and-10 to the Packers' 22. PACKERS 7, 49ERS 7 f?S Harris 18 run (Crosby kick), 0:29 Drive: 7 plays, 80 yards, 2:44 Keys: Harris gains 13 yards on three carries to open the drive; Rodgers to Jones for 44 yards on third-and-5 to the 49ers' 18; Harris scores on next play. PACKERS 14, 49ERS 7 M4tA Crabtree 12 pass from Kaepernick (Akers kick), 10:59 ttV Drive: 3 plays 9 yards, 0:44 Keys: 49ers recover a muffed punt by Ross at the 9; Kaepernick recovers his own fumble on the 49ers' second play for a 3-yard loss before the TD. PACKERS 14, 49ERS 14 gjfc Crabtree 20 pass from Kaepernick (Akers kick), 5:26 JP Drive: 8 plays, 48 yards, 3:53 Keys: Brown intercepts Rodgers on a deep pass and returns to the 48; James runs for 14 on third-and-1 to the 25; Kaepernick runs for 15 on third-and-9 for a 49ers first down but yardage is lost to a taunting penalty. 49ERS 21, PACKERS 14 rSSk Jones 20 pass from Rodgers (Crosby kick), 2:33 Saff ' Drive: 6 plays, 80 yards, 2:53 Keys: Rodgers to Finley for 19 to the SF 49-yard line: Gold-son' unnecessary roughness penalty and J.Smith's offsides penalty give Packers 20 yards. PACKERS 21, 49ERS 21 Jjtk FG Akers 36, 0:00 Drive: 11 plays, 62 yards, 2:33 Keys: Kaepernick breaks loose for a 19-yard scramble to the 49ers' 42, an 18-yard run on third-and-10 to the Packers' 40, and a 9-yard run to the 18. 49ERS 24, PACKERS 21 ss FG Crosby 31, 8-25 5 Dr,ve: 9 PaV5. 76 yards, 3:31 Keys: Rodgers to Jennings for 30 yards; Rodgers to Nelson on back-to-back plays for 8 yards each; Cobb runs for 19 to the 49ers' 22; Lang recovers Cobb fumble after an 8-yard gain on third-and-11. PACKERS 24, 49ERS 24 g9fc Kaepernick 56 run (Akers kick), 7:07 0 Drive: Drive: 3 plays, 80 yards, 1:18 Keys: Kaepernick to Crabtree for 18 on first play; on TD, Kaepernick finds a seam on the right side and sprints into the open for a dazzling score. 49ERS 31, PACKERS 24 gM Gore 2 run (Akers kick), 14:57 Drive: 8 plays, 93 yards, 5:03 Keys: Kaepernick to Crabtree for 16 yards on third-and 2; Kaepernick to Davis for 44 yards to the Packers' 15; Gore runs for 13 to the 2 on next play. 49ERS 38, PACKERS 24 gjfc. Dixon 2 run (Akers kick), 3:34 0 Drive: 11 plays, 93 yards, 7:54 Keys: 49ers go 90-plus yards on back-to-back drives; Kaepernick runs for 16 to the 49ers' 28; Kaepernick to walker for 17; Gore runs for 26 to the Packers' 27; Raji jumps offsides on fourth-and-l from the 18. 49ERS 45, PACKERS 24 Jennings 3 pass from Rodgers (Crosby kick), 0:57 Drive: U.plays, 77 yards. 2:37 Key: 49ers make the Packers get their yards in short chunks to chew up most of the clock; longest gain on the drive is Rodgers to Jones for 16 yards to the 49ers' 44. 49ERS 45, PACKERS 31 B gggiP Lal Green My Press-Gazette art soft Journal staff THE BIG PICTURE Another promising season will go unfulfilled for the Green Bay Packers. Since their victory in Super Bowl XLV, they haven't advanced past the divisional round of the playoffs. Saturday's loss to the San Francisco 49ers marked the second straight year they lost with a berth to the conference championship game on the line. THUMBS UP FEELING GOOD AT 21-21 Packers coach Mike McCarthy got exactly what he wanted when out of a two-bark set, he split out running back Ryu Grant to the left and fullback John Kuhn to the right on a first-down play from the San Francisco 20 in the second quarter. McCarthy figured that the 49ers almost certainly would counter his two-back, two-tight end, one-receiver personnel group with their base defense, and they played right into his hands. McCarthy then motioned tight end Jermichael Finley to the right, further clearing out the middle of the field. That left James Jones with all kinds of room to operate up the seam. Jones ran up the right seam and had an easy touchdown that tied the game at 21 with 2:33 left in first half. The problem was, the Packers did next to nothing else on offense after that. THUMBS DOWN ROSS' BIG MISTAKE The decision to use Jeremy Ross on punt returns backfired. Ross muffed a punt early in the second quarter, and 49ers safety C.J. Spillman recovered it. Three plays later, 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick threw a 12-yard touchdown pass to Michael Crabtree to tie the game at 14-14 with 10:59 left in the second quarter. PLAY OF THE GAME Kaepernick showed off his speed early and often. If you thought his 20-yard touchdown run in the first quarter was impressive, that was nothing compared to his 56-yard touchdown in the third quarter. On a read-option play, Kaepernick kept the ball and kept running around the right end. He ran untouched into the end zone to give the 49ers a 31-24 lead. TURNING POINT The 56-yard touchdown run by Kaepernick opened the floodgates. It broke a 24-24 tie and was the start of 21 unanswered points by the 49ers in the second half. HECTOR AMEZCUA - Sacramento Bee Jeremy Ross muffs a punt return that San Francisco's CJ. Spillman recovers at the 9-yard line. The 49ers scored three plays later to tie the game at 14 in the second quarter. REPORT CARD Tom Oates grades the Packers OFFENSE C DuJuan Harris made the nation sit up and take notice early. Aaron Rodgers fired some rockets on two game-tying drives, but the Packers struggled once they fell behind. James Jones has become a heck of a wide receiver. DEFENSE F Colin Kaepernick's feet gave the Packers even more problems than his arm. Sam Shields' pick-six got Green Bay off on the right foot. Tramon Williams has had better days. Erik Walden is very poor at setting the edge. SPECIAL TEAMS D Jeremy Ross' muffed punt handed the 49ers a game-tying touchdown. Randall Cobb, who immediately replaced Ross, hasn't been a big-time return threat since his injury. Made it with room to spare, right Mason Crosby? COACHING F Mike McCarthy chose the wrong game to sub Ross for Cobb on punt returns. Dom Capers couldn't contain the running of Kaepernick, who burned the Packers on blitzes, options. A.J. Hawk covering Vernon Davis deep? Really, Dom? OVERALL D The Packers were knocked out of the playoffs for the second consecutive year by a team that pounded them physically. They were competitive for three quarters but it was a mirage. They were beaten by a better team. RANTS & RAVES Rant: Casey Hayward had a clear shot at Kaepernick on a second-quarter blitz but whiffed, which enabled the 49ers quarterback to scramble for 19 yards. He also had gains of 18 and 9 yards on the same drive. Rave: One of the rare shining moments for the Packers defense came on the first drive of the second half. The Packers forced a three-and-out, which allowed the offense to drive for a field goal on the ensuing possession to tie the game at 24. Rant: Rodgers badly overthrew Jordy Nelson on a deep second-quarter pass that was intercepted by Tared Brown and returned 39 yards to the Packers' 48, which set up a short field and 49ers' touchdown. Rant: Tramon Williams was twice called for defensive holding to give the 49ers first downs and was regularly beaten in coverage. Rave: DuJuan Harris rushed five times for 36 yards on the Packers' seven-play, 80-yard first-quarter touchdown drive. Rant: The Packers special teams turned in perhaps its worst performance of the year. Beyond Ross' muffed punt that led to a 49ers touchdown, the Packers' return game was subpar and often left the team in bad field position. v & JM gg FigggFgl s r MM" Is Jim gggJeV git 'gg fl lKw ' r9f Jk nmeT VuFkS BZflh IBs" EVAN Siegle - Green Bay Press-Gazette San Francisco's Michael Crabtree makes a reception in front of Green Bay's Tramon Williams. Crabtree had nine catches for 119 yards and two TDs. Packers Continued from Page Di The game revolved around Kaepernick's scrambling and zone -option runs - he set an NFL playoffs record for rushing yards by a quarterback (181) and led a unit that demolished the Packers defense with 579 yards in total offense, including 323 yards rushing. The threat of his scrambling forced Green Bay's pass rushers to hold their rush lanes more than going for sacks, which gave Kaepernick more time when he wanted to throw. And the times when the Packers abandoned those lanes or blitzed, he usually gashed them for big gains. "I feel like I had a lot to prove. A lot of people doubted my ability to lead this team," Kaepernick said. "Our offensive line did an amazing job. They shut everybody down inside." Nothing defensive coordinator Dom Capers tried worked, including occasionally using a linebacker to spy Kaepernick on dropbacks. Halfback Frank Gore had 119 yards on 23 carries as San Francisco built a decisive edge in time of possession. "When a team has over 300 yards rushing and the quarterback has 100 plus, we obviously did not get it done," McCarthy said. Kaepernick occasionally looked like the inexperienced quarterback he is, especially on the game's first series, when he spotted the Packers to a 7-0 lead by making a bad throw into coverage. After scrambling to his left, he threw to receiver Randy Moss but hit cor-nerback Sam Shields in the chest, and Shields returned the interception 52 yards for the score. However, with Kaepernick at the helm, the 49ers had more than enough punch to overcome his mistake. He finished with an 11.4-yard average and two touchdowns on 16 rushes, plus a 91.2 passer rating that included no big mistakes after his first-drive interception. More importantly, he outplayed Rodgers, who threw a first-half interception and finished with a 91.5 rating that was inflated by a garbage -time touchdown drive late in the fourth quarter. "(Kaepernick) was running all over the field," Rodgers said. "Big, strong, athletic. Throws the ball well, runs the ball extremely well. We didn't have a whole lot of answers for him." Kaepernick made several big plays with his legs, starting with a 17-yard scramble for a touchdown on a third-and-8 that tied the game 7-7. He also showed he could break big plays on the read-option, most notably in the second half, when fullback Bruce Miller blocked outside linebacker Erik Walden and Kaepernick broke outside the contain and ran 56 yards untouched for the touchdown that put the 49ers ahead for good, 31-24, with 7:07 left in the third quarter. But Kaepernick also showed throwing ability. Late in the third quarter, with the Packers behind by only a touchdown, Kaepernick saw his top playmaker, tight end Vernon Davis, run past linebacker A.J. Hawk, and the quarterback hit him in stride for a 44 -yard completion to the Packers' 15. Two Gore runs later - a 13-yarder and a 2-yarder - and San Francisco opened a 38-24 lead on the first play of the fourth quarter. Kaepernick's scrambling and running were huge factors in helping the 49ers to a 24-21 lead and 313 yards in total offense in v, the first half alone. Kaepernick ran for 107 of those yards on 11 carries, with some coming on scrambles and some off read-options and a quarterback draw. Aside from Kaepernick's 17-yard touchdown, he had several other key runs. Among them was a 15-yard scramble that converted a third-and-9 deep in Packers territory and set up the touchdown that put the 49ers ahead 21-14; and on a hurry-up drive for the go-ahead field goal in the last play of the first half, an 18-yard scramble against a six-man rush that was opened by halfback LaMichael James' cut block on linebacker Clay Matthews and converted a third-and-7. The Packers also in effect gave back the Shields touchdown when return man Jeremy Ross muffed the catch on a punt that 49ers backup safety C.J. Spillman recovered at the Packers' 9. "Guys were closingpretty quick and I was just trying to make a play," Ross said. "In my peripheral I saw somebody coming on me quick, so my attention started being more focused on that than my technique, making sure I get my elbows in. I was more focused on the ball coming." That set up a third-and-12 touchdown pass to receiver Michael Crabtree, who caught a short crossing pattern against zone coverage in which corner-back Casey Hayward and safety Charles Woodson appeared to vacate the middle too quickly, which opened the way for Crabtree to turn up the middle for the field for the touchdown that tied the game at 14-14 early in the second quarter. - The Associated Press contributed to this report. t Paokors RUSHIN6 Att Vdl Avg TD Lng Harris 11 53 4.8 1 18 Rodgers 3 28 93 0 17 Cobb 2 23 11.5 0 19 PAS5INGCmpHnt Vdl TP Lug Rodgers 26-39-1 257 2 44 RECEIVING Ho. Yd AV1, TP Jennings 6 54 9.0 l Nelson " 5 46 9.2 0 Cobb 5 24 4.8 0 Jones 4 87 21.8 1 Finley 4 35 8.8 0 Harris 2 11 5.5 0 punting Mo. Ave, ling ln20 Masthay 4 47.0 52 2 KICKING XP FG Milled Crosby 4-4 1-1 RETURNS KO Punt fit Fein Cobb 4-71 1-0 Ross 1-6 Shields 1-52 DEFENSE (ok tackltt-total-sacki) Jones 9-10-0 Wilson 2-3-0 Williams 8-8-0 Jennings 2-3-0 Hawk 6-8-0 Daniels 2-2-0 Woodson 5-6-0 Moses 1-2-0 Burnett 4-6-0 Ross 1-0-0 Matthews 4-5-1 McMillian 1-0-0 walden 2-5-0 Dietr.-Smith 1-0-0 Shields 4-0-0 Masthay O-i-O Pickett 3-4-0 Manning 0-1-0 49ers RUSHING Att Vdl Avg TD Lng Kaepernick 16 181 1U 2 56 Gore 23 119 5.2 26 James 3 21 7.0 0 14 Dixon 1 2 2.0 1 2 PASSING Cmp-Att-Int vds TP Lng Kaepernick i7-3H 263 2 45 RECEIVING No. Vds Avg TP Crabtree 9 119 13.2 2 Gore 2 48 24.0 0 Moss 2 25 12.5 0 Davis 1 44 44.0 0 Walker 1 17 1700 James l 7 7.0 0 Ginn 1 3 3.0 0 PUNTING NO. Avg Lngln20 Lee 3 44.3 52 2 KICKING XP FG Milled Akers 6-6 M RETURNS KO Punt Int Fum James 1-23 walker " " i-0 " Ginn 1-0 Brown 1-39 Spillman l-o DEFENSE (solo tackles-total-sacks) Willis 7-7-1 Brooks 2-0-0 Goldson 4-7-0 Brock 20-0 Bowman 5-6-0 Rogers 2-0-0 Culliver 4-5-0 Brown 1-0-0 J.5mith 4-5-0 Spillman 1-0-0 McDonald 2-4-0 Walker 1-0-0 Whitner 2-4-0 Wilhoite 1-0-0 Cox 2-3-0 Grant 1-0-0 Aid-Smith 2-0-0 Rushing yards Packers 16-104 49ers 43-323 Passing yards Packers 248 49ers 246 Total yards Packers 352 49ers 579 Time of possession Packers 21:59 49ers 38:01 GB SF First downs 20 29 by rushing 5 15 by passing u n by penalty 4 3 Passing attempts 39 31 completions 26 17 Interceptions l l Sacked-yds lost 1-9 1-7 Avg. gain per play 6.3 7.7 Red zone scoring 3-3 4-4 touchdowns 2 3 field goals l l Third down eff. 5 of 12 8 of 13 Fourth down eff. l of l o of o Fumbles-lost 3-1 1-0 Penalties-yds 5-26 8-86 Attendance - 69,732 BY THE NUMBERS 1-2: Packers' playoff record since winning Super Bowl XVL. 2: 49ers to rush for more than 100 yards. Both Kaepernick (181) and running back Frank Gore (119) topped the century mark. 3: Points scored by the Packers in the second half until Aaron Rodgers 3-yard touchdown pass to Greg Jennings with 57 seconds left in the game. MISC Donald Driver was active for the first time since Week 16 but did not play a snap on offense. He was on the punt return unit as a middle rusher. Defense tackle Ryan Pickett got the wind knocked out of him but returned to the game. v

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