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49ers vs. Packers Film Review: Kaepernick continues to impress

Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

Here are some extra notes from the 49ers 23-20 win over the Packers upon further review:

-Colin Kaepernick made the throws needed whether it was to Michael Crabtree or the touchdown pass to Vernon Davis. He had a great vision of the field and only threw to whoever he saw as an open target. If the Packers respected the passing game, he would take off, knowing Green Bay dropped back in coverage.

-Speaking of the Packers defense, they covered Anquan Boldin for majority of the game which was able to free up Michael Crabtree. Allowing more than 200 receiving yards in the first meeting will do that, but others were open as a result.

-Like the first game, the Packers respected the run which didn't give Frank Gore many opportunities to roam with the exception of the 10-yard touchdown run. Opposing defenses continue to stack the box with eight or even nine men and it didn't change in Green Bay.

-Perrish Cox was on the field for all but one snap on defense as the team's nickel cornerback with Eric Wright battling a hamstring injury. While the Packers picked on him quite a bit, he held his ground well whenever Aaron Rodgers attempted to make a deep throw. On one pass intended for James Jones, he helped break up the pass, preventing any momentum towards Green Bay.

-One player who is under-appreciated is Ray McDonald for the job he did in the trenches. While he didn't register many tackles in the box score, McDonald closed any gaps when Eddie Lacy ran in his direction on the left side. The same can't be said when the Packers chose to run Lacy wide or to the right. Aldon Smith also did a good job to keep the running back in front of him.

-The referees were consistent in 'letting them play' on Sunday with a good share of no-calls throughout the game. While there was a very obvious hold when Ray McDonald was being choked as Aaron Rodgers escaped, there could have been more pass interference or defensive holding calls on the secondary as well. Michael Crabtree was bumped by the Packers in the first quarter which could have given the 49ers a chance at their first touchdown.

-This was Tarell Brown's first start since injuring his ribs against the Saints in Week 11. Not only did he play good, but he was one of the biggest reasons Aaron Rodgers was ineffective in the first half. The Packers had two deep heaves that were well-defended by Brown and both were not flag worthy. He played phenomenal for a cornerback who is in his contract year, where he will get a payday with the 49ers or another team in free agency.

-Why did Colin Kaepernick scramble so well against the Packers? It was because Green Bay did not have a linebacker spy each time they either blitzed or dropped back in coverage. On the crucial third down scramble which set up the short field goal, the Packers gambled by blitzing. Kaepernick was able to go outside with a load of running room ahead of him, avoiding any danger inside.

-While the referees stayed true to "letting them play", which benefited and hurt the 49ers in both ways, it also made this game go faster than expected. There were only five penalties called in the entire game and no reviewed plays. Since there wasn't as much officiating action, the wild card game lasted three hours and five minutes. Of course the Packers ran the ball 31 times, which helped speed up the game.

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