SAN FRANCISCO (KCBS) – As the Packers did with the 49ers in their loss to San Francisco Saturday, teams are struggling to defend the read option offense. How will defenses adjust to Colin Kaepernick and other running QBs?

“They’ll come up with something that makes it a little more dangerous for your quarterback to do and makes you not want to do it,” John Madden told the KCBS morning crew. “If you commit yourself to an inside run, then the quarterback goes outside. And if you stay outside there, then they just run inside. It kind of puts you in no man’s land… I think that eventually the answer to that — and it always has been in the NFL — is no matter what they do, you just go and get the quarterback. That takes away that option, and you have one less defender, but it makes them run the ball.”

The 49ers meet the Falcons in the NFC Championship game in Atlanta Sunday.

The Broncos lost to the Ravens in overtime in the AFC divisional game in Denver Saturday. With 31 seconds left and with two timeouts, Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning took a knee rather than attempt to move the ball down field and try to win the game in regulation.

“I was surprised at that,” Madden said. “I know that in that situation you don’t want to do anything stupid. You don’t want to force anything, because if you do and you get a turnover then you lose the game right there because that puts them in position to kick a field goal and win the game. But the area where I thought they were (too) conservative was before that. I thought they had some third down plays — third and manageable, third and six or seven — where they ran the ball. That’s so unlike Peyton. Here’s a situation where they have to throw the ball, put it in his hands. And they didn’t.” (8:35)

Listen to the John Madden segment live weekday mornings at 8:15 on KCBS All News 740 AM/106.9 FM. And catch John’s extra report at 9:15 a.m. Mondays and Fridays through the NFL playoffs and Super Bowl.

(Copyright 2013 by CBS San Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)


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