Saturday, January 12, 2013
Halftime: 49ers 24, Packers 21
By Kevin Seifert
SAN FRANCISCO -- I'm spending most of Saturday night's game in our Countdown Live chat, but here are a few quick halftime thoughts from Candlestick Park, where the 49ers lead the Packers by three:
- A Captain Obvious note: The Green Bay Packers haven't had an answer for the running skills of Colin Kaepernick, who has 107 yards on 11 carries -- including a 20-yard touchdown dash. Kaepernick is fast and has instinctive open-field ability, but the Packers also don't appear to have accounted for him in their defensive scheme. I've seen linebacker Clay Matthews in a spy position a couple of times, but otherwise they haven't had anyone in position to tackle him close to the line of scrimmage.
- Leaving Matthews in a spy position limits his pass-rushing opportunities. But truth be told, he hasn't done much against 49ers left tackle Joe Staley in this game.
- The 49ers have 14 points off Packers turnovers. The Packers have seven points off Kaepernick's only mistake of the game, a poor pass on the opening possession that Sam Shields intercepted and returned 52 yards for a touchdown. Partially because of that play, the 49ers held the ball for 21 minutes, 47 seconds in the first half.
- I'm not sure why the Packers opened the game with Jeremy Ross as their kickoff and punt returner. Randall Cobb has been slowed by an ankle injury and the flu, but he is in uniform and playing in this game. In the playoffs, you tend to trust your most experienced players. Ross' muffed punt in the second quarter set up a 49ers touchdown, and Cobb has replaced Ross since that point.
- The Packers offense has moved in fits and starts but has not been as sharp as the 49ers'. Quarterback Aaron Rodgers has completed only half of his 10 attempts, but he made two laser throws on the Packers' final possession of the second quarter -- one a 19-yard pass to tight end Jermichael Finley and one on a 20-yard touchdown pass to receiver James Jones.
- Jones has been the Packers' best offensive player, scoring one of their touchdowns and catching a 44-yard jump ball to set up their other.
OK, back to the Countdown Live chat.