Monday, January 06, 2014


Not long after the Niners defeated the Packers, Sunday on the frozen (grayish looking?) tundra I received a post on my Facebook wall from my cousin, who has been a 49ers fan basically since he was old enough to follow football.

The post simply read, "Sorry but the better team prevailed today." Oh yeah and it was over this picture:

Now to fully understand this, I need to give a tad bit of back story. What really warranted this is that Packers, for quite some time, have been one of my favorite teams. My favorite NFC team, for what it's worth. I don't root against the Packers, I cheer for them almost as if I was from Sheboygan or somewhere like that. Anyways, last year I texted him, prior to the 49ers-Packers game, with a selfie in which I was donning my cheesehead. Yes, I own a cheesehead. So, naturally I set myself up for things like this to be hung upon my Facebook wall. Obviously it doesn't please me, but part of me expected the 49ers to win. They have owned the Packers of late and I have matured (somewhat) into a fan who can accept most of the realities of sports.

So, I can't say I was not expecting something like this to be sent my way and I would tend to concur that the better team did prevail, although I would say they did not play like the better team for the whole 60 minutes of game time. But what really irked me was the picture. Colin Kaepernick and is stupid bicep smooch. I absolutely loathe this celebratory gesture of his. Quite frankly, it makes me pine for Tebowing. If I need to go into detail as to why I hate this celebration, then you should probably be reading someone else's blog. But before I elaborate a tad more on my dislike for Kaepernick, let's take a look at another Facebook post of a friend of mine from the Bay Area:

49ers should have won that game by a bigger score than they did, but a win is a win. And... oh yeah... to all you Kaepernick haters? He now has more road playoff wins than Hall of Fame QB's Joe Montana and Steve Young COMBINED

I do tend to agree with the first part. As I mentioned earlier, I do believe the better team did prevail, but I don't believe they necessarily played like the better team for the entirety of the game. But I do take issue with the second part here, as I am a Kaepernick hater. Through and through, even. I don't hate him because I don't think he is a good player. He most certainly is very, very good. I don't think he's great. Kaepernick arguably won Sunday's game with his feet and a little help from Jarrett Bush misplaying his containment. Kaepernick can run. Once he is out in the open he can gain big chunks of yards, quickly and that will help him. Overall, at this time, I think he is a tad bit overrated. Kaepernick was 7th in Total Quarterback Rating was 7th this year, so I may be wrong. Although his completion percentage was in the bottom half of the league, he doesn't throw interceptions. Of all the starting quarterbacks in the NFL, only Alex Smith threw fewer picks. But the fact is, I don't really hate because of that. Well, I do. I hate that when you look like you have him, he runs free for big games. I hate him because he is unlikely to throw a pick. When I am generally rooting against his team, this is annoying. If it weren't for that giving his bicep a hickey after a touchdown (yes I do love Aaron Rodgers and if I didn't cheer for him, I might hate him for his discount double check celebration dance, but not as much as Kaepernicking), I might at least have more respect for him. But let's get to the last part of that post. "He now has more road playoff wins than Hall of Fame QB's Joe Montana and Steve Young COMBINED".

How is this at all relevant? I mean, I know the QB is important, but the whole team plays the game, right? So, let's look into this statistic, shall we?

For Montana, he lost his first road playoff game in 1983 to the Washington Redskins in the NFC Championship. The 'Skins were 14-2 and had won ten straight including a 51-7 dismantling of the Rams in the Divisional Round the week prior. Now the 49ers were hardly slouches that year, going 10-6, but the 'Skins dominated the NFC in '83 and the Niners only lost that game by three.

In 1986 the 49ers lost to the Giants in the Meadowlands 17-3 in the Wild Card Round. The Giants had a good defense and both teams were 10-6, so maybe the Giants just outplayed the Niners.

In the 1993-94 season, Montana as a member of the Chiefs, won the Divisional Round game at Houston before losing at Buffalo. You may remember those Buffalo teams of the early 90s were, well, pretty good.

For Steve Young, his first road playoff game was in Dallas against the defending Super Bowl Champion Cowboys. They would lose to the Cowboys, who would go on to win the Super Bowl that year as well.

Young's second road loss is, well an iffy one. It was in 1997 at Lambeau in the Divisional Round and Young left the game due to injury after throwing just five passes. The Packers went on to win the Super Bowl.

Young, at age 37, played his last road playoff game of his career. In fact, it was his last playoff game ever. In this game he did throw three picks as they lost to the 14-2 Falcons, who would go on to the Super Bowl.

So really, Young and Montana were 1-5 and as Niners they were 0-4 in road playoff games. Of those four losses, three of them were against the conference favorites and eventual conference champs. Plus the non-Niners road playoff loss was against the AFC Champion Bills, who were amid winning four straight conference championships. Now let's look at Colin Kaepernick.

 Okay, I will give you last year's win against the Falcons was impressive as the Falcons were the conference favorites, and although he ran well Sunday, his passing game was not superstar quality. It was cold, I get it. But the 49ers were favored to win. On the road! They were 12-4, whereas the Packers were 8-7-1. Albeit without Aaron Rodgers for a good amount of time. Sure, Rodgers was back and played fairly well, but he can't play defense too and the Packers defense did not show up when they needed to.

I guess you have to hand it to Kaepernick a little, but to me that is one of those statements that tries to thrust Kaepernick into the same strata as Montana and Young. If/when the Niners win in Carolina, I will still not be impressed if they win in Carolina next week because once again the Niners are favored to win. So if you want to say Colin Kaerpernick has as many road playoff wins where his team was not expected to win as Joe Montana and Steve Young combined, then go ahead. It's a bit wordy. The quarterback is a team sport and Montana and Young came up against better teams when they went on the road in the playoffs. Kaepernick and the Niners have not done that yet in 2014. So for now, for me, I am going to sit back and keep thinking the Kaepernick is somewhat overrated. Oh yeah, and continue to hate on him and his bicep snogging ways.

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