Matt and Mindi: 49ers must pressure Rodgers
Kaepernick gained 181 yards and two touchdowns in the 49ers’ 45-31 victory over Green Bay in the divisional round of the playoffs last season. (USATSI)
SANTA CLARA – Colin Kaepernick experienced the best running game from a quarterback in NFL history in the playoffs last season against the Green Bay Packers.
The Packers’ defense adjusted in Week 1 of the regular season. But so did Kaepernick.
Kaepernick responded with his most prolific game as a passer in his 26-start career.
So what does he expect Sunday when the 49ers travel to frigid Lambeau Field to face the Packers in the first round of the NFC playoffs?
“They could do a lot of different things,” Kaepernick said on Wednesday. “They have a lot of different things in their arsenal. For us, we have to trust what we see and go with what we know.”
Kaepernick, who spent his early years in Wisconsin and grew up a fan of the Packers, gained 181 yards and two touchdowns in the 49ers’ 45-31 victory over Green Bay in the divisional round of the playoffs last season. He had just 22 yards rushing in the September rematch to kick off this season, but he threw for 412 yards and three touchdowns in the 49ers' 34-28 victory.
Anquan Boldin had 13 catches for 208 yards, and tight end Vernon Davis added six catches for 98 yards. Now, the 49ers also have Michael Crabtree and rookie Quinton Patton in the mix. Patton, the 49ers' No. 3 receiver, had a 29-yard reception to set up Phil Dawson's winning field goal as time expired Sunday against Arizona in the regular-season finale.
“He’s going to make a lot more things viable to us,” Kaepernick said of Patton. “We can do a lot more things, different personnel groups, different things like that. He’s another piece to the puzzle.”
As the 49ers head into the playoffs, Kaepernick has more options in the passing game. He said he feels more comfortable than last season, when he took over for Alex Smith at midseason.
“I think last year everything happened fast,” he said. “This year, I have the experience of being in the playoffs. I have the experience of being in the offense.”