FortWayne.com
 
  Text size  Increase text sizeDecrease text size      
Posted on Sat. Feb. 02, 2013 - 12:01 am EDT

Five keys to a San Francisco 49ers win

Start with the calm and collected Colin Kaepernick

PHOTOS
 
Click on image to view.
MORE ARTICLES
DISCUSS
Comments
 
1. Kaepernick's calculated cool

It's hard to believe Colin Kaepernick wasn't a starting quarterback when the season began. Now many feel he's the prototype for the next generation of NFL quarterbacks. It's hard to say his most impressive quality, whether it's his rocket arm or turbo-fired legs or precocious way of reading the defense. My vote is for his calmness under pressure. He has embraced this late-season and playoff-time run with composure worthy of a 10-year veteran. He has to keep that against a Ravens defense that will throw new twists at him, as well as Ray Lewis.

2. The primary secondary

San Francisco has a terrific defense most games. They also can offer something other Baltimore opponents may have lacked in the postseason – a cohesive, effective secondary. Carlos Rogers, Donte Whitner, Dashon Goldson and Tarell Brown have spent the season together. They won't likely allow Ravens receivers to get past them or misplay balls that end up with Flacco's deep passes turning into touchdowns. They can't afford an off-game, however, because Flacco will burn them.

3. Jim Harbaugh's patience

The might be an oxymoron. Harbaugh the younger is as manic as any coach on the sideline. He's jittery. He's reactionary. He's a blur sometimes in how quickly he moves from task to task. He needs to make sure he displays the patience that tells his players the Super Bowl is a long game. Early plays don't win or lose the thing. If Baltimore scores early and gets a lead early, it's not a deal-breaker. If Harbaugh concentrates more on coaching and less on officiating, his team has a better chance.

4. Make Flacco wing it often

The 49ers need to slow Ray Rice and Bernard Pierce and make Flacco become a pass-first quarterback. Flacco's deep throws can be things of beauty, but San Francisco is pretty adept at preventing long receptions. If they force Flacco into a steady diet of passes, they have a much better chance at the turnovers that inevitably swing a game. Aldon Smith is aching to deliver some sacks, too. He's 0-for-the-postseason.

5. David Akers gets his kicks

Akers has been a quality field-goal kicker throughout his NFL career, but this has been a rocky season. He's only made nine of 19 attempts outside 40 yards. The Ravens have been fairly strong at preventing red-zone touchdowns throughout the season, so Akers will likely need to deliver. If this is his swan song, he needs to go out kicking.

rhayes@news-sentinel.com


Comments
 
Saturday
Saturday
High  °F
Low  °F
44 °F
A Few Clouds
Sponsored by Masters Heating & Cooling, Inc.
THIS WEEKS DEAL
Weekly Deal
Lush Hair Artistry
Half-Off  partial hi-light with Jennifer at Lush Hair Artistry ($90 value)
THIS WEEK ONLY
$45.00
50% off!
LOCAL BUSINESS SEARCH
Local Search
FeaturedMore
Things To Do

STOCK SUMMARY
Dow 16408.54-16.31
Nasdaq 4095.529.29
S&P 500 1864.85+2.54
AEP 51.73-0.77
Comcast 49.10-0.07
GE 26.56+0.44
ITT Exelis 18.78+0.18
LNC 48.07+0.44
Navistar 34.00-0.79
Raytheon 100.13+1.10
SDI 18.00-0.90
Verizon 47.60+0.50
  Stock Sponsor