While everyone one was captivated by the Ravens vs Broncos game, Mountaineers fans turned their attentions to the fate of West Virginia great and Packers rookie, Don Barclay.
The Packers vs 49ers shaped up to be a classic track meet between a pair of tremendous offenses. Outside of a few turnovers by each side (including an interception for a touchdown thrown by Kaepernick), both offenses had little issue moving the football up and down the field at will.
Don Barclay and the Packers offensive line performed quite well against one of the best defenses in the NFL. Aaron Rodgers was kept upright for the majority of the game, only sacked once by Patrick Willis. Rodgers had ample time to find receivers and pick apart the 49ers secondary for 257 yards and 2 touchdowns.
Too bad Barclay does not defense (or anyone else for the Packers it seems). Colin Kaepernick was able to disect the Packers defense for an NFL record (for a QB) 181 yards rushing as well as 263 yards passing and a total 4 touchdowns. Even with a spy on Kaepernick, the Packers defense could do nothing to stop the 49ers quarterback from scoring.
In the end, the Packers just could not match the 49ers scoring ability and fell 45-31.
The loss concludes Barclay’s rookie season, one that seemed as though it would never occur. Undrafted in April, Barclay found a roster spot in Green Bay as a reserve lineman. He put in hard work and mastered the blocking schemes as a back-up, biding his time until he was given the opportunity to start late in the season.
Barclay parlayed his chance to play into solidifying a spot at the right tackle position for one of the best offenses in the NFL. A spot that Barclay will be favored to retain going into the 2013 NFL season this fall.
Barclay’s story is a perfect example of what can happen when hard work and determination meet opportunity.