The Packers made no bones about their intention to hit 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick early and often in hopes of slowing down the man that ushered them out of the playoffs last season, raising the ire of 49ers coach Jim Harbaugh in the days heading into Sunday’s opener.
Kaepernick barely ran any read-option plays on Sunday, choosing to throw the ball to Anquan Boldin over and over again on the way to 412 total passing yards, but the Packers still found a way to hit him. Linebacker Clay Matthews touched off a brief skirmish by hitting Kaepernick out of bounds in the first half, a play that led to a refereeing mistake and a touchdown for the 49ers.
After the game, Kaepernick said that he was aware of how much Matthews and other Packers were talking about hitting him. He suggested future opponents come up with a different approach to stopping the 49ers offense.
“I’m not worried about what people are saying,” Kaepernick said, via the team’s website “If intimidation is your game plan, I hope you have a better one.”
If Kaepernick continues to show that taking away the read-option does nothing to limit his success, finding a game plan that will work isn’t going to be particularly easy.