Sunday, January 19, 2014

NFC Championship Game Recap

     It's official. The Seattle Seahawks will be playing the Denver Broncos in Super Bowl XLVIII. At one point, it seemed as if Colin Kaepernick and the 49ers would pull off the upset against Seattle, but thanks to an interception by outside linebacker Malcolm Smith with just 22 seconds left in the game, Seattle will be going to their second Super Bowl in franchise history. The Seahawks had the best record in all of football, yet people were still questioning whether or not their division rivals, the San Francisco 49ers, would pull off an upset. Seattle's 12th man arrived in full force today, and even though Colin Kaepernick seemed very composed, he could not finish the job at the end of the game.

     The San Francisco 49ers scored on their first possession with a 25-yard field goal after Russell Wilson's fumble on the first play of the game. From there, San Francisco's rushing touchdown put them up 10-0 in the second quarter. Colin Kaepernick's passing game was mediocre at best, but he had a successful game in terms of running the football. His 58 yard gain on the ground set up a touchdown for the Niners, and by the end of the game, Kaepernick had rushed for 130 yards on 11.8 yards per carry in a losing effort.

     On Seattle's first possession of the second half, Marshawn Lynch showed off his incredible talents with a 40 yard touchdown run, very similar to his captivating playoff run against the Saints several years ago. This touchdown led to a 13-point run for Seattle, and the score of 23-16 remained until the end of game.

      But it seemed as if Colin Kaepernick was about to lead a 78-yard drive that would have put San Francisco in the Super Bowl instead of Seattle. A conversion of 4th and 2 in their own end created a huge momentum shift, where it was evident that Seattle fans were becoming uneasy. The San Francisco 49ers cost themselves the game by refusing to use their final two timeouts with 30 seconds left in the game. Had they called a timeout, quarterback Colin Kaepernick would not have felt rushed at the line of scrimmage, which ultimately led to a game-ending interception.

      Not only did San Francisco lose this game, but they also had their All-Pro linebacker NaVorro Bowman suffer a gruesome leg injury that required him to be carted off of the field. Bowman had already forced a fumble earlier in the game, and this injury clearly affected the Niners mindset on defense for the rest of the game. Doctors fear that Bowman may have suffered a tear to his ACl, which would have long term consequences stretching into next season.

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