Michael Crabtree is the difference

The buzzwords in scouting circles are "playing personality." What is a player's competitive character? On the field, Crabtree straddles the line between being confident and being cocky. No moment is too big for him. He believes he can beat any defensive back he faces. He thinks he is the best.

That's why Harbaugh loves him so. Crabtree is a reflection of his head coach.

"If my life depended on it and someone had to catch a ball, I'd enlist Michael Crabtree to do it," Harbaugh told reporters after the game.

He added: "It's unbelievable. In the northern snowlands down to the tropics and sunny scenes, he's catching the football. Wherever they throw a football, he'll be catching it."

In the Niners' last four playoff games -- three last season, one so far this season -- Crabtree has made 28 catches for 410 yards and three touchdowns. His average yards per catch is 14.6. He has had three 100-yard receiving games, including a 109-yard effort in the Super Bowl loss to Baltimore in which he averaged 21.8 yards per catch.

Crabtree commands attention, which opens up the field for everyone else, including Kaepernick, who against Green Bay picked up 98 yards on seven runs, including four scrambles.

With all due respect to Harbaugh, Crabtree has had his share of drops. He doesn't catch everything. According to ESPN Stats & Information, since entering the league out of Texas Tech as the 10th overall draft pick in 2009, Crabtree has dropped 5.9 percent of his targets. Only five of the 69 qualified receivers have dropped more.

But Harbaugh's point is taken.

There is plenty of football to be played, and hopefully the divisional games this weekend will be as exciting and entertaining as the wild-card games were. But in two weeks, when we're gearing up for the Super Bowl, I believe we'll still be talking about the Niners.

Crabtree makes that much of a difference.

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