2014 DRAFT GUIDE
Packers' D gashed in 45-31 playoff loss to 49ers

By JOSH DUBOW - AP Sports Writer
    2013-01-12 23:51

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) - When Colin Kaepernick went back to throw, he found open receivers. When the Green Bay Packers had it covered, he scrambled for back-breaking gains. When Kaepernick and the San Francisco 49ers mixed in the read option, the Packers had no chance.

A week after holding 2,000-yard rusher Adrian Peterson in check, the Packers were run over and sent home from the playoffs with a 45-31 loss Saturday night.

``We just didn't have an answer,'' linebacker A.J. Hawk said. ``We couldn't find a way to get off the field on third down. We couldn't find a way to get off the field ever, really. He did a great job if he pulled it down to run. On passing plays, he did a good job of getting it down field. Also, when they were running that option play, we couldn't get it stopped.''

The Packers (12-6) came into the game brimming with confidence after holding Peterson to 99 yards in a 24-10 win last week that set up a rematch of a week one meeting with the 49ers. That confidence only increased after Sam Shields returned an interception 52 yards for a touchdown on the opening drive.

That would end up being about the only bright spot during a historically bad night for the Green Bay defense that gave up the most total yards (579), yards rushing (323) and second-most points in the playoffs in franchise history.

Only one other team has run for at least 320 yards and four touchdowns in a postseason game, with Chicago accomplishing the feat in a 73-0 win over Washington in 1940. Those Bears didn't have a quarterback who could paralyze a defense with the read-option and scrambles the way Kaepernick did in gaining 181 yards, a record for a quarterback in the regular season or playoffs.

``You can't let him out of there,'' defensive back Charles Woodson said. ``It's that simple, it seems. You get good rushes on a guy like that and he finds that one hole, that one gap. When he takes off, he's out of there. It seems like it's 10 yards a pop every time he sneaks out of there. When that happens it's hard to defend.''

Kaepernick scrambled for a 20-yard score in the first quarter. Then he set the rushing record for a quarterback in the playoffs when he faked an inside handoff to Frank Gore and raced untouched for a 56-yard score that gave San Francisco a 31-24 lead late in the third quarter.

``We didn't handle the read option very good and we didn't handle the quarterback getting out of the pocket,'' coach Mike McCarthy said. ``You may not have noticed, but we did have a spy on him at times.''

It just didn't matter.

Then the power running took over from there with Gore and Anthony Dixon each running for short scores that turned the tight game into a blowout.

It was another example of how San Francisco is a completely different team than the one that beat the Packers in Green Bay in September with the elusive Kaepernick having replaced Alex Smith at quarterback. The Packers seemed unprepared for Kaepernick's zone-read plays and scrambles, and they now will have all offseason to figure out how to handle them in the future.

``The one thing it does is it kind of makes you a little bit indecisive in what you want to do,'' Woodson said. ``You want to shoot in there, but he may hold the ball and take it outside. If you go outside, he might give it to the running back and take it up the middle. It's one of those things that makes you play flat footed a little bit.''

They even struggled when the Niners went to the air, allowing Kaepernick to throw for 263 yards and two first-half touchdowns to Michael Crabtree.

``To win a game, you need to make a team one dimensional, take away the run and make them beat you throwing,'' Hawk said. ``That was our plan coming in but it didn't work out. It's crazy to end the season so abruptly like this but we know that's how it works in the playoffs.''

That all proved to be too much for even last year's NFL MVP Aaron Rodgers to overcome. He threw for 257 yards and two touchdowns, but also was intercepted once and couldn't keep up with Kaepernick.

---

Online: http://pro32.ap.org/poll and http://twitter.com/AP-NFL

Fantasy Football Player Notes RSS FeedPLAYER NOTES

Miles AustinMar 30 11:42a

Free-agent WR Miles Austin (Browns) will likely sign with the Philadelphia Eagles this week if all goes well with his physical, according to a source.

R. Griffin IIIMar 29 07:42p

Washington Redskins QB Robert Griffin III will be the first-team quarterback during offseason workouts, according to head Jay Gruden, but Gruden also said he expects QB Kirk Cousins and [ More ]

Stevan RidleyMar 29 10:12a

Free-agent RB Stevan Ridley (knee) is scheduled to meet with a few teams this week. Ridley is expected to receive full medical clearance in around six weeks.

Andre EllingtonMar 27 07:52p

Arizona Cardinals RB Andre Ellington, who averaged 20.6 touches per game in 2014 before being injured, won't have his role reduced in 2015, according to head coach Bruce Arians. [ More ]

C.J. AndersonMar 27 07:32p

Denver Broncos RB C.J. Anderson, who finished 2014 with 648 rushing yards in the last six games, will enter the 2015 season at the top of the running back [ More ]

Jonathan MartinMar 27 04:32p

San Francisco 49ers OT Jonathan Martin was claimed off waivers by the Carolina Panthers Friday, March 27.

Alan BallMar 27 03:02p

Free-agent CB Alan Ball (Jaguars) signed a one-year deal with the Chicago Bears Friday, March 27. Financial terms were not disclosed.

Jarrett BoykinMar 27 02:12p

Free-agent WR Jarrett Boykin (Packers) signed a one-year deal with the Carolina Panthers Friday, March 27. Financial terms were not disclosed.

Nick FolesMar 27 01:22p

St. Louis Rams head coach Jeff Fisher said it's the team's intention to draft a quarterback in this year's draft, despite trading for QB Nick Foles in the offseason. [ More ]

Dont'a HightowerMar 26 08:02p

New England Patriots LB Dont'a Hightower (shoulder) will miss six to seven months after undergoing surgery on a torn right labrum. Hightower's availability for the beginning of the regular [ More ]

Brian QuickMar 26 06:52p

St. Louis Rams WR Brian Quick (shoulder) is making progress in recovering from a torn rotator cuff and separated shoulder he suffered last October. Head coach Jeff Fisher has [ More ]

Jay CutlerMar 26 06:32p

Chicago Bears QB Jay Cutler will head into the offseason as the team's No. 1 quarterback on the depth chart, but head coach John Fox said there will be [ More ]

Danny LansanahMar 26 05:42p

Tampa Bay Buccaneers LB Danny Lansanah signed his one-year tender Thursday, March 26.

Jonathan MartinMar 26 04:52p

San Francisco 49ers OT Jonathan Martin was waived Thursday, March 26.

Pat SimsMar 26 04:22p

Free-agent DT Pat Sims (Raiders) signed an undisclosed deal with the Cincinnati Bengals Thursday, March 26.

Victor CruzMar 26 01:32p

New York Giants WR Victor Cruz (knee) 'looks really good and light,' according to head coach Tom Coughlin. Cruz started running last week six months after he tore the [ More ]

D. Heyward-BeyMar 26 11:52a

Free-agent WR Darrius Heyward-Bey (Steelers) re-signed with the Pittsburgh Steelers Wednesday, March 26. Heyward-Bey signed a one-year deal with the team, but financial terms were not disclosed.

Paul RichardsonMar 26 12:43a

Seattle Seahawks WR Paul Richardson (knee) might not be ready for the start of the season, head coach Pete Carroll indicated Wednesday, March 25. Carroll did say Richardson's rehab [ More ]

Blake BortlesMar 25 08:43p

Jacksonville Jaguars QB Blake Bortles received an endorsement from head coach Gus Bradley Tuesday, March 24. Speaking at the AFC Coaches Breakfast at the NFL Annual Meetings Tuesday, Bradley [ More ]

Travis KelceMar 25 06:03p

Kansas City Chiefs TE Travis Kelce played at roughly 250 pounds in 2014, but head coach Andy Reid wants Kelce to report bigger in 2015, and Reid thinks Kelce [ More ]

Drew BreesMar 25 05:03p

Oregon QB Marcus Mariota isn't an option for the New Orleans Saints in the first round of the 2015 NFL Draft, according to head coach Sean Payton. Payton said [ More ]

Adrian PetersonMar 25 04:33p

Minnesota Vikings RB Adrian Peterson is wanted back in Minnesota, but the question is if Peterson wants to come back. Head coach Mike Zimmer said he doesn't believe Peterson [ More ]

Ifeanyi MomahMar 25 03:13p

Free-agent TE Ifeanyi Momah (Lions) signed a one-year contract with the Arizona Cardinals Wednesday, March 25. Financial terms were undisclosed.

Terence NewmanMar 25 01:53p

Free-agent CB Terence Newman (Bengals) agreed to a one-year deal with the Minnesota Vikings Wednesday, March 25, according to a source. Financial terms were not disclosed.

Jordy NelsonMar 25 12:23p

Green Bay Packers WR Jordy Nelson (hip) underwent hip surgery this offseason and is expected to be sidelined for six to eight weeks.

Victor CruzMar 25 11:53a

New York Giants WR Victor Cruz (knee) could miss the start of the 2015 season with a torn patellar tendon in his knee, according to head coach Tom Coughlin. [ More ]

Josh HillMar 25 11:03a

New Orleans Saints TE Josh Hill is expected to have a bigger role in the offense in 2015. Head coach Sean Payton has mentioned him quite a bit since [ More ]

Adrian PetersonMar 25 10:53a

Minnesota Vikings RB Adrian Peterson is disgruntled and reportedly wants out of Minnesota, but head coach Mike Zimmer said the team has no plans to trade him.

Cody LatimerMar 24 09:33p

The Denver Broncos plan to use WR Cody Latimer as the third receiver behind WRs Demaryius Thomas and Emmanuel Sanders in 2015. 'I think it's time for him to [ More ]

Casey MatthewsMar 24 06:32p

Free-agent LB Casey Matthews (Eagles) agreed to terms with the Minnesota Vikings Tuesday, March 24. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

R. Griffin IIIMar 24 04:42p

Washington Redskins general manager Scot McCloughan said that the team will go with the best player available in the 2015 NFL Draft with the No. 5 overall pick, which [ More ]

Michael CrabtreeMar 24 03:02p

Free-agent WR Michael Crabtree (49ers) is having a hard time being signed this offseason, reportedly due to concerns regarding lower-leg injuries and a negative perception about his attitude.

RSS Feeds

NFL News:
 
Player Notes:
 
Forum Posts:
 

© 2015 RealTime Fantasy Sports, Inc.
Email Us  ·  Call Us 636.447.1170  ·  Lost Password
Advertising represented by USA Today Sports Media Group