Make us your home page

Get the quickest, smartest news, analysis and photos from the Bucs game emailed to you shortly after the final whistle.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Packers run D gashed by 49ers

49ers receiver Michael Crabtree eludes the Packers’ Brad Jones for a touchdown in the second quarter, one of Crabtree’s two scoring receptions in the game.

Associated Press

49ers receiver Michael Crabtree eludes the Packers’ Brad Jones for a touchdown in the second quarter, one of Crabtree’s two scoring receptions in the game.

SAN FRANCISCO — Colin Kaepernick repeatedly raced past the Green Bay defense on option runs. Frank Gore barreled over the Packers on more traditional plays.

A week after holding 2,000-yard rusher Adrian Peterson in check, the Packers were run over by the 49ers and sent home from the playoffs with a 45-31 loss Saturday night.

The Packers went in brimming with confidence after holding Peterson to 99 yards in a 24-10 win last week. That confidence only increased after CB Sam Shields returned an interception 52 yards for a touchdown on the opening drive.

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

"Our issues were bigger than that with Colin," Green Bay coach Mike McCarthy said. "We did not do a very good job of keeping him in the pocket. He was able to get out of the pocket for a number of big conversions there in the first half. We weren't able to get off the field.

"We tried to make some adjustments in our defensive calls, pass rush lanes and so forth, and did not accomplish that."

PASS FIRST: It has been two decades since Troy Aikman won three Super Bowls with the Cowboys. The blueprint they used endured for much longer: put a workhorse running back behind a physical offense line, control the ball with the run and wear out the defense, then assemble a defense that won't allow opponents to do the same.

That was how Seattle reached today's game against Atlanta. But Aikman, a Fox analyst, said that approach no longer is the best way to win a championship.

"There's really not those dominant defenses anymore," Aikman said. "You better be able to throw the ball and score points."

If that's true, then the Falcons should have a good chance to win. Their identity is, first and foremost, QB Matt Ryan throwing to a stable of pass catchers that include TE Tony Gonzalez, WR Julio Jones and WR Roddy White behind an offensive excellent in pass protection.

Missing feat: Gonzalez spent 12 seasons with the Chiefs and went 0-3 in playoff games. With the Falcons for four seasons, he is 0-2 in the playoffs.

Now retirement looms. Asked if a loss today would leave a hole in his resume, he responded tersely.

"That's a tough question," he said. "Ask me after the game."

But Gonzalez, 36, has been around long enough to recognize players are judged significantly on their postseason fortunes.

"Obviously, in the playoffs, it steps up more because that is really kind of where your legacy comes in," he said. "What you do in the playoffs is what a majority of people remember."

Packers run D gashed by 49ers 01/12/13 [Last modified: Sunday, January 13, 2013 12:26am]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. NFL Week 3: What we learned


    Take the knee … well, not NOW

     1. Photo of Roger Mooney for Times Sports.
  2. Marc Topkin's takeaways from Sunday's Rays-Orioles game

    The Heater

    RHP Chris Archer's primary problem Sunday, as in much of September, was a lack of slider command. When he can't throw it where he wants, and doesn't have the confidence in the changeup to throw it often, he can't win with just his fastball.

  3. Somehow, Rays' Chris Archer remains just shy of being an ace

    The Heater

    BALTIMORE — Chris Archer had another bad game Sunday.

    Chris Archer is sputtering to the finish line, his rough start on Sunday his fourth in his past five in which he hasn’t gotten past four innings.
  4. Bradenton high school senior Chasten Whitfield inspires young anglers


    MADEIRA BEACH — The kids lined up single file, snow cones in hand, a procession of sweaty, excited grade schoolers watching Chasten Whitfield throw a cast net.

    Whitfield, a senior at Bradenton Manatee, demonstrates how to throw a cast net at the FishKids tournament in Madeira Beach. She also taught knot tying.
  5. Wreck helps Kyle Busch take control of Monster Cup's ISM 300

    Auto racing

    LOUDON, N.H. — Kyle Busch saw little but billowing white smoke that engulfed the track and blinded enough drivers that it caused a tremendous wreck that notably altered the race running order.

    Kyle Busch celebrates with a burnout after his third victory of the season that earns a berth in the second round of NASCAR’s playoffs. He also has some fun with Loudon the Lobster.