Thursday Night Football Recap

The San Francisco 49ers finally got back to what they do best last night - running the football and playing defense. Frank Gore had his first 100 yard game of the season and the team's defense got back to form, even without the services of Patrick Willis or Aldon Smith. Not surprisingly, after establishing the run first, Colin Kaepernick had his best day since the team's opening game against Green Bay, throwing for 2 touchdowns and no interceptions.
Kaepernick was able to find Anquan Boldin to the tune of 5 catches for 90 yards and a touchdown, also Boldin's best game since week one; he had only hauled in three receptions in his last two games. Vernon Davis returned from injury as well to catch a touchdown, giving Kaepernick his two best options in the passing game, and it showed as Kaepernick looked infinitely more comfortable in the San Francisco offense. Offensive Coordinator Greg Roman drew up a perfect game plan for the Niners, featuring their efficient power running game combined with play-action roll-outs to Kaepernick's right side.
This is the 49ers team that we have gotten used to in the past two seasons. They physically punish and out-man people on defense and run the ball with Gore on offense before putting Kaepernick in solid play-action situations where he can get out on the edge and use his athleticism and speed. In their last two losses, Kaepernick had completed less than 50% of his passes and thrown 4 interceptions, while the team ran for barely 100 yards in each game. That is not a coincidence. It's difficult to run play-action when a team can't run the ball. Last night, however, the team ran for 219 yards and Kaepernick was able to operate off of that play-action and use it to his advantage, because the offensive line was consistently opening gaping holes for Gore to run through.
The 49ers finally got back to what they do best and looked like the team that made a run all the way to the Super Bowl last year. If they stick to their game plan, they're obviously a tough team to beat. As a Packer fan, I unfortunately know all about it.

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