It wasn't a great performance on offense, but the 49ers were able to get it done against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in the fourth quarter. There were frustrating moments throughout the game which included delay of game penalties and an unsportsmanlike conduct on Michael Crabtree.
There were two key third-down conversions in the first half which kept the chains moving. Colin Kaepernick had a scramble for 17 yards and later found Bruce Miller after improving on another third down. The touchdown pass to Michael Crabtree was also a broken play where the wide receiver ran elsewhere to keep the play alive. It would've been the only touchdown in the first half by the 49ers until a 52-yard touchdown pass to Vernon Davis happened.
The 19-play drive that took 10:27 off the clock had a mirroring image of the first half drive with two important third down conversions. This time Kaepernick found Michael Crabtree on a curl route after the wide receiver was flagged for throwing the ball two players earlier. He also scrambled for eight yards on another third down to get the 49ers in the red zone which was the back breaker for the Buccaneers defense. Phil Dawson's chip shot field goal made it a two possession game, which was a lead the Buccaneers couldn't recover from.
Credit goes to the defense of the 49ers in the first half and majority of the second half for getting the stops needed. There was only one possession at the end of the second quarter where the soft coverage allowed a touchdown pass to Vincent Jackson.
Offensively, Greg Roman called the right plays when he needed to with a conservative approach in the second half, but it was Colin Kaepernick who kept plays alive and finally had some explosive runs and Houdini acts on four important third downs.
It was a learning experience for Colin Kaepernick and he silenced any critics against a Buccaneers team who has played well as of late. The 49ers will need to continue to be clutch on third downs as they'll most likely play in the postseason on the road.