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Matthews Delivers On Promise, Kaepernick Delivers On Win

Matthews is like the postman—he always delivers.

Matthews is like the postman—he always delivers.

Say what you will about Green Bay Packers linebacker Clay Matthews, just don’t say he’s not a man of his word. Last week he said his team was going to go after San Francisco 49ers second-year starting quarterback Colin Kaepernick, and that’s exactly what he did on Sunday.

Midway through the second quarter Matthews went after Kaepernick, chasing him out of bounds and dragging him down by the neck from behind, despite the Niners quarterback already being several yards out of bounds by the time he caught up with him.

San Francisco coach Jim Harbaugh was not pleased about the “tough talk” echoing out of Green Bay in the days leading up to the game. He even expressed concern that the Packers were targeting Kaepernick, who gashed them for 181 rushing yards in the division round of the 2012 playoffs.

Clearly a loss that still stings.

Hopefully the ill-advised hit was cathartic for Matthews, because it certainly didn’t do his team any good. Kaepernick was brought down after a four-yard gain on Green Bay’s 10-yard line. The dirty play sparked a brief brawl on the sideline, which actually cost San Francisco because left tackle Joe Staley’s penalty offset the initial infraction by Matthews.

Instead of the third-down play by Kaepernick standing, which would have likely resulted in a Niners field goal, the offsetting penalties meant the down would be replayed. Proving that karma is indeed a bitch, Kaepernick connected with wide receiver Anquan Boldin for a 10-yard touchdown pass on the next play. That put San Francisco up 14-7.

Matthews attempt to send a message to Kaepernick resulted in no less than a four-point swing in the game—that’s assuming the 49ers definitely would have executed on the field goal attempt. It would have been a seven-point swing if the Packers had been able to block it or force a turnover.

A pretty big “what if,” considering the Niners won by just six points.

The final score was 49ers 34, Packers 28.

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