Updated Jan 21, 2014 - 11:20 pm
Upon Further Review: Seahawks-49ers
By Brady Henderson
A few things that stood out after re-watching the Seahawks' win over San Francisco in the NFC Championship Game:
"Man, he was good," Seahawks coach Pete Carrol said of the way strong safety Kam Chancellor played in the NFC title game. (AP)
Kaepernick's cannon. For whatever flaws Kaepernick might have in his mechanics, there's no question about his arm strength. That much was evident on the bullet he threw to Boldin in the end zone to give San Francisco a 17-10 lead in the third quarter. Not only did Kaepernick throw it roughly 35 yards in the air while jumping off of one foot, but he put enough zip on the pass to clear – albeit barely – the outstretched arm of Earl Thomas.
49ers' clock management. The 49ers had 3:37 left on the clock and all three of their timeouts in addition to the 2-minute warning when they took over at their own 22 on their final drive. They didn't have to hurry and they didn't, at one point even waiting until 4 seconds remained on the play clock to snap the ball. While their decision to take their time was understandable, Seahawks coach Pete Carroll said it worked in Seattle's favor. "They weren't real fast," he said. "They really helped us." What could be questioned was the decision to throw into the end zone on the decisive play. San Francisco had 30 seconds on the clock, two timeouts and a fresh set of downs when Kaepernick threw that pass, and the fact that Richard Sherman was the man in coverage made the decision all the more questionable.
The Immaculate Deflection. That might be overstating it just a bit, but the play Sherman made to tip Kaepernick's pass to teammate Malcolm Smith on the decisive play was nothing short of spectacular. Just before leaving his feet he received a shove in the back that might have been called offensive pass interference in a different situation, then perfectly time the left-handed swipe as his body was turning in mid-air, tipping the ball right to Smith. Also impressive about the play by Sherman was the focus it took to pull it off. He'd been thrown at only once to that point, something he's become accustomed to. At times last year, he said after afterward, that lack of action would lead to lapses in concentration. Not this time.
Follow Brady Henderson on Twitter @BradyHenderson.
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