Two of the San Francisco 49ers key performers in a Week 10 road win over the New Orleans Saints have been recognized in separate NFL weekly awards.
Colin Kaepernick's 51-yard pass to Michael Crabtree on a fourth-down play against the Saints was selected as a nominee for GMC's "Never Say Never Moment."
Kaepernick connected with Crabtree for a 51-yard gain on fourth down to sustain the game-tying drive late in the fourth quarter. Later, Phil Dawson's 35-yard field goal in overtime gave the 49ers a 27-24 win over the Saints. The winning play was set up by a sack-fumble by 49ers linebacker Ahmad Brooks on Saints quarterback Drew Brees.
The loose ball was recovered by rookie linebacker Chris Borland, and winning kick came on the following play. With the win, the 49ers halted a two-game losing streak and ended the Saints' 11-game home winning streak.
Crabtree "was the third or fourth guy I looked at when I was scrambling, so I was surprised," Kaepernick said. "Our offensive line gave me time to make a play."
In the span of this play, San Francisco went from its own 22-yard line and potentially losing the game to New Orleans' 30-yard line.
What was the team's mindset in the huddle before and after the play? "We had to score," Kaepernick said. "No one flinched."Crabtree, for his part, had dropped a pass on the previous third-down play. He finished with 62 yards on three grabs overall, one much more important than the others.
In addition to Kaepernick's recognition, Borland was nominated for Pepsi's "Rookie of the Week" award for a second consecutive week.
Borland had 11 solo tackles and recovered a fumble in overtime that led to the game-winning field goal in the 49ers' 27-24 victory over the Saints.
The rookie linebacker was all over the Mercedes-Benz Superdome on Sunday. He also provided the best hustle play in a classic matchup between the 49ers and Saints. Borland helped San Francisco turn in the big moment when he made a mad dash to recover Drew Brees' overtime fumble, forced by Brooks.
The turnover set up Dawson's game-winning boot from 35 yards out.
"It's up there," Borland said when asked if this was his best fumble recovery. "I've only recovered a fumble in an overtime game once before. It was just a case of being in the right place at the right time.
Borland has been a big-time performer in place of injured starter Joe Staley. Borland has 35 tackles in his past two starts for the perennial Pro Bowler.
It doesn't seem to be a big deal to Borland, either.
"At this point of the season," Borland began, "there aren't any rookies any more. We've had an entire offseason and nine games under our belts… I'm trying to hold my own." VOTE FOR BORLAND
And lastly, if you're in the voting mood, here's a friendly reminder that voting for the 2015 Pro Bowl is now open.