Kap case closed, 49ers one win from Super Bowl
In Saturday’s NFL record 27th playoff game at Candlestick Park, just the numbers alone reflect the fact that the future is definitely now when it comes to the esteemed position of quarterback for the San Francisco 49ers.
How about an NFL and team-record 181 yards rushing on 16 carries, with two touchdown runs of 20 and 56 yards, respectively?
How about 17 pass completions in 31 attempts for 263 yards, two touchdowns of 12 and 20 yards each to Michael Crabtree – the Niners’ new Jerry Rice, who erased last year’s dismal playoff appearances – and one interception?
How about a final score of San Francisco 49ers 45, Green Bay Packers 31?
How about a second straight trip to the NFC title game, and one win away from reaching the Super Bowl, for the two-time NFC West champion Niners?
How about Colin Kaepernick?
With Saturday’s resounding performance and emphatic victory in his first NFL playoff start, second-year player and eight-game-only starter Kaepernick laid claim to San Francisco’s famed quarterback position for many years to come.
A list of outstanding 49er quarterbacks who engineered memorable playoff wins include John Brodie, Joe Montana (four Super Bowl titles), Steve Young (one Super Bowl title), Jeff Garcia, current former starter Alex Smith (last year’s thrilling victory over New Orleans), and now Kaepernick, who was dazzling in leading San Francisco past the mighty Packers.
Leading up to Saturday’s magnificent and memorable playoff win has been Niners’ head coach Jim Harbaugh’s decision to stick with the young Kaepernick over the not-that-old Smith, whose concussion opened the starting door, and Kaepernick took the elusive opportunity and literally ran and passed with it all the way to a division title and playoff win.
Now that there’s no doubt that the controversial “Kap versus Alex” quarterback case is closed, the 49ers can put their undivided attention on what they have to do to upend the Atlanta Falcons in the NFC championship game at noon this Sunday, Jan. 20, in Atlanta.
Actually, it’s the Falcons who will have to give all their undivided attention to the 49ers and, mostly, on their athletically gifted, strong-armed and quick and elusive leg-striding QB from Turlock and the University of Nevada, Reno, especially after he out-played the NFL’s best QB in Green Bay’s Aaron Rodgers from Chico and the University of California, Berkeley.
The Kaepernick era is so impressively underway, with the long-awaited chance of his becoming San Francisco’s third Super Bowl-winning quarterback.