Dec 15, 2013; Tampa, FL, USA; San Francisco 49ers running back Frank Gore (21) runs with the ball as Tampa Bay Buccaneers free safety Dashon Goldson (38) and cornerback Johnthan Banks (27) defend during the first half at Raymond James Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

San Francisco 49ers: Good, Bad From Sunday’s Win vs. Buccaneers


Dec 15, 2013; Tampa, FL, USA; Tampa Bay Buccaneers wide receiver Vincent Jackson (83) catches the ball in the end zone for a touchdown as San Francisco 49ers cornerback Tarell Brown (25) tackles him during the second quarter of the game at Raymond James Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Rob Foldy-USA TODAY Sports

Yesterday, the San Francisco 49ers had their second early east coast game of the year. They traveled to Florida and defeated the Tampa Bay Buccaneers by a score of 33-14. There were murmurs that the 49ers wouldn’t take this game seriously and they would be upset by the Bucs, but that was not the case. The 49ers came out strong in all phases of the game, and the final score reflects that.

THE GOOD

Ever since he’s gotten all his weapons back, Colin Kaepernick has played superbly. He has an very impressive four game streak that unsurprisingly have all been wins. In Sunday’s win, Kaepernick continued his hot streak by going 19/29 and throwing for 203 yards and two touchdowns. But what he did with his arm is not the whole story. Kaepernick also made plays with his legs. Most notably on the last drive of the game. The 49ers were only up by six with the entire 4th quarter still left to go. Twice on that drive, Kaepernick somehow escaped from would-be sacks and converted huge first downs. Coach Harbaugh even described Kaepernick’s performance as “Houdini-like.” The 49ers need wins to get into the playoffs, and so far Kaepernick has stepped up to the challenge.

After a long absence from the game, Aldon Smith seems to be back in form. His two sacks yesterday bring him to 8.5 on the year and makes him tied for the most on the team. According to PFF, Smith racked up nine quarterback hurries, which is his most all season. With the playoffs coming up in a few weeks, Smith’s return to dominance is very good news for the 49ers.

This mention is not for what he did do, but for what he didn’t do. At the end of the game, Eric Reid intercepted a tipped pass and instead of running it in for an touchdown, he gave himself up. Not many veterans, let alone rookies, would give up an easy touchdown like that. But Reid isn’t an ordinary rookie. He is already extremely mature and a very good player despite being a rookie. The 49ers should be excited to have him on his team for years to come.

THE BAD

On the 49ers’ final drive, Colin Kaepernick threw a pass to fullback Bruce Miller. Miller was evidently injured on the play while he was trying to fight for more yards. The severity of the injury was unknown at the time, but now it appears that Miller broke his scapula and will be out for the remainder of the season. Miller was an extremely vital part of the 49ers’ offense. Not only was he Frank Gore’s lead blocker, but he is the team’s third leading receiver. The 49ers are going to have a big hole in the offense that they will be looking to fill before the playoffs.

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