49ers offensive review: Kaepernick managed the game

November 20, 2012, 7:50 pm
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It was probably the most thorough 49ers performance against a good team this season, as they had their way in a 32-7 victory over the Chicago Bears on Monday night.The 49ers had standout play on offense, defense and special teams.Let's start with the offense. And let's kick if off with a look at the performance of Colin Kaepernick, who tied a 49ers record for most yards passing in a first start. Jeff Garcia had 243 yards in his 1999 debut, a 24-22 win against the Tennessee Titans.MAIOCCO: Harbaugh considers Kaepernick's 'hot hand'
--Kaepernick threw the ball with accuracy, considering the level of difficulty of some of his throws. He completed 16 of 23 attempts. Kaepernick also did a very good job of being a game manager. And, trust me, that term is not being used in a derogatory manner.According to Pro Football Focus, Kaepernick completed 3 of 4 attempts 20 yards or more down the field for 111 yards. While being blitzed, Kaepernick was 7 of 10 with one touchdown and a 144.6 rating.He had a clean pocket from which to throw for most of the game. On his 57-yard pass to Kyle Williams in the first quarter, Right tackle Anthony Davis handled Israel Idonije and left tackle Joe Staley guided Corey Wooten to the outside to allow Kaepernick plenty of room to make the throw. And Kaepernick's throw to Williams was absolutely perfect.RATTO: 49ers' fan base proclaims Kaepernick the Baby Jesus
--Kaepernick appeared to do a good job at the line of scrimmage with his decisions in situations in which he received two play calls in the huddle. Kaepernick appeared to receive some help from Frank Gore late in the first quarter to kill a play, which resulted in 12-yard completion to Randy Moss.On the first play of the second half, Kaepernick made two adjustments with his presnap read and Gore gained 11 yards around left end.--Kaepernick enabled tight end Vernon Davis to have his best game in a while. He made a couple of throws that Davis would not ordinarily see go his way. The best example of that was in the fourth quarter. It was a third-and-12, and the Bears showed an all-out blitz. Idonije and Brian Urlacher backed off into coverage at the snap of the ball, but that left Lance Briggs coming inside on a blitz. Kaepernick threw to Davis in a window between Idonije and Urlacher, and in front of safety Major Wright. The play went for 11 yards and failed to pick up a first down, but Kaepernick's throw rightfully impressed Davis, who compared it to something he'd see from Tom Brady.--Kaepernick also showed a lot on a 10-yard touchdown pass to Michael Crabtree in which he looked right, scanned the middle of the field, slid to the right and found Crabtree working his way back across the end zone.--Crabtree made a great individual effort on a third-and-11 in the second quarter when Kaepernick hit in him stride on a slant pattern. He broke the tackle attempt of Wright at the 25-yard line and carried cornerback Tim Jennings for another 7 yards to pick up the first down on 20-yard play to the 11-yard line.--Kaepernick put a pass to Mario Manningham on a third-quarter slant in a perfect spot. He appeared to underthrow Manningham by design to direct him away from the teeth of the Bears defense. Manningham caught the pass, stopped and made a pivot away from three Bears defenders to gain 28 yards after the catch with a run down the left sideline.RATTO: For the 49ers, it's a full-blown QB controversy
--The 49ers' pass protection was very good. Of course, the offensive line had a very strong game, but Gore was also very good in pass protection. Gore got enough of Julius Peppers to slow him up on the first play of the game, an 8-yard pass to Manningham.--Gore leveled Briggs on a blitz on Kaepernick's 3-yard touchdown pass to Vernon Davis. Also on that play, fullback Will Tukuafu picked up Urlacher up the middle.--Right guard Alex Boone and Staley graded out highly in PFF's rating system. Boone gave up no quarterback disruptions. Fullback Bruce Miller and tight end Delanie Walker also had good games as blockers.--Right tackle Anthony Davis pushed Peppers inside to open a lane for Gore to pick up 13 yards near the end of the first quarter. --Walker had a big block on nose tackle Stephen Paea to create a hole for Gore to gain 14 yards up the middle. Walker was again inconsistent catching the football. He bobbled a perfectly thrown pass early in the game but still gained 9 yards. Later, he dropped a pass from Kaepernick inside the 5-yard line.--Center Jonathan Goodwin got bested on an inside move from Paea to stop Gore for a 6-yard loss. But Goodwin had a good game from that point on, as he repeatedly got to the second level. He made good blocks on Briggs on plays that gained 13 and 14 yards up the middle.--Kendall Hunter played only 11 offensive snaps, but he made the most of them with 27 yards and a touchdown on five rushing attempts. He got off to a good start when he broke through Urlacher at the line of scrimmage around the right side to pick up 6 yards.--Hunter scored on a 14-yard TD run in the second quarter, as Kaepernick gave him on the ball on a read option. Staley did a good job on defensive tackle Henry Melton down the field, and Hunter broke through Wooten tackle attempt at the 10-yard line.--The Bears picked up two sacks. One came on an odd play call in which Hunter was dropped on apparent halfback pass attempt. The other sack came when Wooten beat Anthony Davis to the outside and Idonije got past Mike Iupati and Gore's chip attempt.

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