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Sunday, September 30, 2012
49ers give Jets taste of their own medicine

By Matt Ehalt

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- The Jets finally saw a read-option offense work well and garner big plays.

It just happened to be the other team doing it.

While the Jets have gotten headlines for their Wildcat package with Tim Tebow, the 49ers' version of the read-option with backup QB Colin Kaepernick led the team to a touchdown and another big first down in Sunday's 34-0 win. Kaepernick finished with five rushes for 50 yards and also threw an incomplete pass.

Kapernick
San Francisco backup QB Colin Kaepernick did what Tim Tebow couldn't on Sunday.
"We gotta be ready for whatever. We rep Wildcat since OTAs," safety LaRon Landry said after the game. "It's nothing we haven't seen before, no matter what team we face. We've repped it. We just have to go out there and execute, and they dominated us today. Nothing else we can say about it."

Coming into the game, Kaepernick had only run once for 17 yards all season. San Francisco coach Jim Harbaugh said his team used the package Sunday for "creativity" and felt that it could be successful. Kaepernick added that the team had a few plays that were put in the playbook for potential use this week.

Asked if he took the 49ers' use of the Wildcat as a slight, Jets linebacker Aaron Maybin said: "You have to. ... They dictated the tempo of the game to us, and they ran the football, they controlled the clock and we didn't do anything to stop them and as a defense. That's pretty embarrassing. So this is a time where we've all definitely got to go some soul searching and we've got to look in the mirror and figure out how we can get better."

On the 49ers' second drive, Kaepernick took a direct snap and scampered 17 yards for a first down. He threw a deep pass later that drive to Randy Moss that fell incomplete. His payoff came when the team inserted him on a 3rd-and-6 at the Jets' 7-yard line in a scoreless game in the second quarter.

Kaepernick took the ball and ran a sweep to the left. Fullback Bruce Miller paved the way to the end zone to give the 49ers a 7-0 lead with 13:37 left in the half. It marked the first touchdown of Kaepernick's career and naturally brought up comparisons to the Jets' famous backup, who was brought in to run the package this season. Tebow, however, rushed two times for zero yards in the loss.

"I want to be me," Kaepernick said of the comparisons. "That's all I'm worried about. I want to go out there and play like myself."

While the 49ers used the play for success, Jets defenders insisted they weren't caught sleeping on the plays and knew what type of packages they might use. Safety Yeremiah Bell said the play is set up like a regular offense with wide receivers on the field, although he did add there isn't a certainty of whether the play is going to be a pass or a run.

Kaepernick later tacked on a 30-yard run in the final minute of the game. The 49ers finished with 245 rushing yards.

"It didn't catch us off guard. We've seen him on tape, we know what he likes to do. They did some different things out of it instead of they just didn't run the zone read, they did a couple other things," Bell said. "We know when he comes into the game what they're trying to do. It didn't catch us off guard, they just hit us with some good plays."