In last night's 45-31 throttling of Aaron Rodgers and the Green Bay Packers in the NFC Divisional round at Candlestick Park, second-year QB Colin Kaepernick led a diverse, well-oiled offense with speed and accuracy - a far cry from the station-to-station crew that made it to the NFC Championship Game last year behind QB Alex Smith.
Smith suffered a concussion in Week 10, opening the door for Kaepernick and San Francisco has become a fun team to watch ever since. Initially, Smith was slated to resume his starting role once he recovered, but head coach Jim Harbaugh liked what he saw from Kaepernick and sent overtures that he would be going with "the hot hand".
Harbaugh's decision to switch from the efficient Smith to a read-option style with Kaepernick in November may have been prompted by the success of Washington's Robert Griffin III. Since Week 11 vs Chicago, San Fran has gone 6-2, including a shootout win vs the Patriots in New England.
Kaepernick. s postseason career got off to a slow start vs Green Bay, throwing a pick six on the Niners' opening possession but then recovered to reward Harbaugh with a stellar performance (17/31, 263 yds and 2 TD). He set the all-time NFL single-game record for most rushing yards by a quarterback (181) in any NFL game, shattering Michael Vick's record of 119 set in 2005.
San Francisco advances to the NFC Championship Game for the second straight season. Last year, they lost to the Giants in overtime at home. They will either head to Atlanta to face the top-seeded Falcons, or host their most-heated rivals - the Seattle Seahawks. The Niners defeated the Seahawks, 13-6, in Week 7 at home but were brutally beaten up Week 16 in Seattle, 42-13.
The NFL on FOX crew recaps Colin Kaepernick's epic playoff performance in the 49ers' win against the Packers.