Written By Boris Krutiy
Well, it has been five days and I still have not fully recovered from the NFC Championship. I do not have much to say regarding the AFC Championship because it went down basically as I suspected. Tom Brady and the Patriots put up a fight but at the end it was just too much Peyton.
As for the NFC Championship, it was the San Francisco 49ers versus the Seattle Seahawks. The two best defenses in the league going up head to head in an epic battle that became an instant classic before it even started.
The back story was simple. Colin Kaepernick and the 49ers were going to their third straight NFC Championship and were considered the team to beat even though Seattle was 15-1 at home the last two years. The Arizona Cardinals proved that Seahawks can be beat at home and the 49ers were going to do everything in their power to win. They did have history going against them. In the previous two games in Seattle, the 49ers were 0-2 and had been outscored by the Seahawks 71-16 and Colin Kaepernick had 7 turnovers in those two games. Obviously, the key coming into the game would be to take the 12th man out of it early and take care of the ball.
Meanwhile, Seattle was riding high as the NFC West Champions and #1 seed which meant home field advantage throughout playoffs. Considering their home field advantage, it was a definite bonus for Seattle. They did have some issues coming into the playoffs. There were concerns about their offense and the only stable part was a strong running game with Marshawn Lynch and Russell Wilson who was very good at managing the game and not making mistakes. Throw in a few big plays either with his arm or his legs and you have a victory…
In the first half, things could not have gone better for the 49ers. The first play of the game was a strip fumble by Aldon Smith who also recovered the ball and the offense was able to get a field goal. These field goals, instead of touchdowns would come back to haunt them. Meanwhile, the 49ers defense completely shutdown the Seattle offense holding them to only one field goal in the first half. This was possible thanks to the good play of the 49ers offense. They were not able to run with Gore much at all. In fact, at one point Frank Gore had 11 carries for only 14 yards. That wont get it done, especially when your counterpart puts up 106 yards and a TD. Nonetheless, Kaepernick was making plays, both with his arm but mainly with his legs. It seemed like Seattle was not prepared for Kaepernick to run as frequently and effectively as he did which included a 58-yard run that lead to the first touchdown of the game and a 10-3 halftime lead for the 49ers.
The second half was a totally different story! Seattle made the necessary adjustments on defense and forced a few key turnovers. Russell Wilson was able to capitalize on the turnovers and score, putting up a total of 20 points in the second half including the go ahead touchdown to Baldwin on a broken play due to a penalty on the 49ers which turned into a touchdown…it was definitely worst case scenario for the 49ers. But it was not game over, the 49ers had the ball at the end of the game and were driving down the field en route to a possible go ahead touchdown and upset victory. With 34 seconds to play, Kaepernick predetermined where he was going to throw the ball. Though he had a wide open Vernon Davis in the middle of the field, he chose to go for it all to Crabtree in the end zone. Richard Sherman tipped the ball and Smith was there to intercept to stop any possible comeback and close out the game.
The loss was saddening for many reasons. First and foremost, my 49ers would not be going to the Superbowl. Second, i felt Kaepernick, once again let the team down by turning the ball over three times in the fourth quarter. If he was only a little more cautious like Wilson or Alex Smith, there would have likely been less turnovers and most likely we would have won the game! He did not need to go for it all with 34 seconds, there was still plenty of time and they had two timeouts remaining. @Kaepernick – If you are going to put it up into the endzone against arguably the best corner in the league, why wouldnt you put the ball in the back of the end zone where only your receiver can get it? Horrible throw, it was flat and needed more air to get over Sherman and to Crabtree. Also unfortunate was Mike Iupati breaking his leg, which will heal and he will be fine but the biggest disappointment was the injury sustained by Navarro Bowman. He tore both his ACL and MCL which will be difficult to rehab and return to form. He is probably considered one of the best defensive players in the league and was considered a nominee for NFL Defensive Player of the Year, though Richard Sherman will likely win that honor.
To top all of that, Richard Sherman had to be an absolute DICKHEAD and berate Crabtree. It was completely uncalled for and in my opinion, the NFL should have been fined him for speaking that way on National Television, definitely more than the $7800 he was fined. Come on, he is representing the NFL, how can you let that fly? A slap on his hands and a request for an apology? The apology was half-assed and cannot wait until someone beats him and puts him in his place. Kid has no modesty and needs to learn humility. Richard – You will never be respected if you do not show respect to others,… bottom line!!!