San Francisco 49ers Must Play Balanced Game to Win NFC Championship

By Jeric Griffin
Cary Edmondson-USA TODAY Sports

The San Francisco 49ers are once again back in the NFC Championship game, where they came up short in a contest against the New York Giants a year ago. Now the Niners are back with a new quarterback and a swagger they didn’t have last year. However, everyone thinks they’re predictable now, which is exactly what head coach Jim Harbaugh wants.

49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick broke the single-game rushing record for a quarterback during his team’s divisional round win over the Green Bay Packers. To say he ran wild is a drastic understatement; the guy literally went untouched on two long touchdown runs of 20 and 56 yards.

Naturally, the Atlanta Falcons should be preparing to make sure they don’t give up that kind of production to Kaepernick on the ground, which should play right into Harbaugh’s hands. If Mike Smith and the Falcons think Harbaugh will employ the exact same game plan this week, he’s outside of his mind.

Harbaugh is going to use what Kaepernick did against Green Bay to fool the Falcons into a blowout. Kaepernick will still do a lot of the option reads he did against the Packers, but 49ers running backs Frank Gore and LaMichael James will get the ball a lot more often this week with room to run, as Atlanta will undoubtedly have at least one defender spying on Kaepernick every play.

That means that when the Falcons try to adjust to stop the Gore and James in the second half, Kaepernick will light up the Atlanta secondary by throwing downfield to receiver Michael Crabtree and tight end Vernon Davis.

Folks, this one is going to be over by halftime, so if you’re wondering if the 49ers will cover as four-point favorites, feel free to place your bet.

Jeric Griffin is the Director of Content for Follow him on Twitter @JericGriffin, “Like” him on Facebook or add him to your network on Google

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