Editor’s note: This is the final part in a series that spotlights three 49ers-Raiders matchups to watch Sunday, 1:25 p.m., at O.co Coliseum.
49ers QB Colin Kaepernick vs. Raiders FS Charles Woodson
Tale of the tape
Kaepernick (7): 6 foot 4, 230 pounds, fourth season, Nevada
Woodson (24): 5 foot 11, 190 pounds, 17th season, Michigan
Coming off the 49ers’ disappointing loss to the Seattle Seahawks on Thanksgiving, Kaepernick made it clear to where the team's focus shifted: “The Raiders.” And where is his own focus after throwing two interceptions against the team’s most-heated NFC West rivalry? “The Raiders,” he said.
The 49ers are fully capable of getting off the ground and making a push for the playoffs, but Kaepernick is going to have to lead the offense out of its doldrums to get there. Kaepernick has not found success this season as a passer or a runner. Coach Jim Harbaugh said the quarterback-driven run game remains an option for the 49ers down the stretch.
When asked if there’s been an emphasis on concentrating more on Kaepernick’s pocket passing, as opposed to his running, Harbaugh said, “It has not been a concerted effort.”
Kaepernick’s quintessential performance since taking over for Alex Smith in 2012 was his first playoff game. He threw for 263 yards and rushed for 181 in a playoff victory over the Green Bay Packers. One of the players in the Packers’ secondary he exploited was veteran Charles Woodson, who took poor angles against the read-option and did not have the speed to recover against Kaepernick. That also happened to be Woodson’s final game with Green Bay.
[RELATED: Matchup No. 3: Justin Smith vs. Donald Penn]
Woodson is in his second season with the Raiders – and in his second tour with the organization that drafted him in 1998. Woodson has two interceptions, giving him 58 in his career. Kaepernick will test him in the passing game and, conceivably, as a runner, too. Woodson unquestionably dedicated himself this week to make sure Kaepernick does not have anywhere near the success he enjoyed against him in the 2012 playoffs.
“Just watching him (Woodson) approach the game after 17 years and the hunger and passion he still has for it , how he flies around on Sundays,” said ex-49ers cornerback Tarell Brown, who is in his first season with the Raiders. “Seeing the guy you saw on TV, you see how he’s been successful. He puts in the work throughout the week that makes him successful on Sundays.”