Packers Finally Contain Kryptonite Kaepernick in 17-3 Victory

It’s been a long time coming for the Packers to defeat Colin Kaepernick, but Green Bay defensive coordinator Dom Capers’ defense finally figured it out Sunday afternoon. Behind one of the stronger defensive performances in Capers’ tenure, the Packers held Kaepernick’s San Francisco 49ers to three points, defeating them on the road 17-3.

Game Summary

Rodgers to Rodgers. (Jim Biever/

The Packers got on the board on their first position, even after wide receiver Ty Montgomery dropped a potential 80-yard touchdown on the first play of the game. After 12 plays and 80 yards in a little under six minutes, the Packers scored on a beautiful touchdown pass from quarterback Aaron Rodgers to tight end Richard Rodgers. Mason Crosby converted the PAT attempt, and the Packers went up 7-0.

The 49ers came out with some big plays in their first possession, but the Packers forced them to punt for the first of six times. It took the 49ers until their fifth drive towards the end of the half to get on the board, after a big play from 49ers wide receiver Quentin Patton put San Francisco in field goal territory. On the next possession, the Packers’ Crosby missed a field goal as the half expired after a huge play to James Jones and some power running by Eddie Lacy. The Packers went into the half only up 7-3.

The Packers’ defense came out in the second half even stronger than the first. After tackling 49ers running back Carlos Hyde like crazy on the 49ers’ first possession of the half, Rodgers led the Packers downfield on a 71-yard drive. James Jones made a beautiful catch down the left sideline, barely getting his feet in bounds. The drive, which featured three third-down conversions, led to a 1-yard John Kuhn rushing touchdown, and the Packers went up 14-3. The Packers never looked back, giving up no points in the second half, and even added a field goal on their next drive.

Kaepernick and Read Option Contained

After finally getting passed Russell Wilson and the Seahawks, another kryptonite was taken care of in Santa Clara. (Jim Biever/

The Packers were all over Kaepernick, punishing the 49ers’ banged up and regressing offensive line. Kaepernick went 13/25 for 160 yards and an interception by Sam Shields with 57 yards on 10 carries, but he was sacked six times by the Packers, led by Nick Perry’s two sacks. Clay Matthews, Julius Peppers, Mike Neal, and Jayrone Elliot also added sacks.

More crucially throughout the game, despite Kaepernick’s 5.7 yards per carry, every member of the Packers’ defense did an exceptional job tackling Kaepernick and analyzing the read-option.

The best way to measure read-option success is looking at both the quarterback and running back(s)’ rushing stats. How did the Packers do? they held the 49ers to 77 yards on 19 carries, 4.05 yards per carry. One can confidently say head coach Mike McCarthy and Capers are pretty content with that.

Offense Good Enough

Rodgers gets just enough time after Barclay struggled on the right side against Lynch and others. (Jim Biever/

Rodgers was not spectacular today by any means, but that was a result of the lack of protection he got by his offensive line. One player that really struggled for the Packers was right tackle Don Barclay, who has been filling in for the injured Bryan Bulaga. Barclay was beat numerous times, and he surrendered multiple sacks on the right side. Rodgers would have had a much better performance if Barclay and the rest of the line won the battle against the 49ers’ front seven.

The reason the offense played well enough was that they had the ball for 36:34, keeping the ball away from the 49ers. That was mainly due to the Packers’ defense, but the offense was able to move the chains 18 times. Eddie Lacy also had an underrated performance despite his injured ankle, running for 90 yards on 18 carries.

Rodgers threw for 224 yards and that touchdown to Richard Rodgers on 22/32 passing. James Jones and Cobb both added five receptions, with 98 yards and 44 yards respectively on the day. Ty Montgomery also made an impact, lining up in the backfield at times, gaining 25 yards on three receptions and two carries.

Key Stats

First downs: GB 18 / SF 8

3rd down: GB 5-14 / SF 4-13

4th down: GB 2-2 / SF 0-1

Total yards: GB 362 / SF 196

Penalties: GB 9-65 / SF 4-30

Time of possession: GB 36:34 / SF 23:26


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