Quarterback Colin Kaepernick was once again expected to be the leader of the San Francisco 49ers offense. Up against the No. 1 seed Atlanta Falcons in the NFC Championship Game, he would need a great performance if the 49ers wanted to continue their quest for their sixth Super Bowl title.
He did just that by leading his team from down 17 points to start the game to a dominant 28-24 victory on the road.
Last week against the Green Bay Packers, he sliced and diced his opposition by setting an NFL quarterback record with 181 rushing yards. Executing the read-option offense to perfection, his incredible speed and agility allowed him to win the game with his legs.
This week, he executed this same pistol offense yet demonstrated an impeccable, strong arm for 16 completions.
As a huge threat to run, he made precise reads and made great decisions all game long. If he noticed a hole in the secondary, he kept the ball, particularly on more-traditional running downs, and made accurate throws downfield to the likes of Michael Crabtree, Vernon Davis and Randy Moss. If the running lanes opened up for his backs, Kaepernick would hand the ball off and allow Frank Gore and LaMichael James, who combined for 124 rushing yards and three touchdowns, to make plays in the red zone.
Kaepernick is now 7-2 as a starter and has facilitated the pistol offense to perfection. Looking ahead to the Super Bowl matchup against the Baltimore Ravens, no defense has found a solution to this relatively-new offensive formation in the NFL, which will be a huge asset for the 49ers on February 3, 2013. Whether it’s with his legs or with his arm, his decision making and accurate reads were a huge reason for the 49ers’ comeback.
Austin Chang is a Writer for Sports Out West and a San Francisco Bay Area-based sports journalist. His work can also be found on Yahoo! Sports and Rant Sports. Follow him on Twitter @_austinchang.
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