The problem with switching from a perfectly good quarterback like Alex Smith, to an exciting unknown like Colin Kaepernick is that you create doubt. Defeating such teams as the Bears, Saints, and Patriots in the post season dissuaded no Kaepernick doubters. Because the 49ers were supposed to be a playoff bound team, Kaepernick needed to succeed when the stage grew.
With several impressive running plays, one leading to a touch down in the first half, another leading to a spectacular touch down in the second, Kaepernick proved he is one of the best running quarterbacks in the NFL. His arm was showcased in two great TD throws to Michael Crabtree and one to Vernon Davis as well.
But if the 49ers didn’t win the game, would the perception of a relatively good performance change? When a team’s ultimate goal is winning a Super Bowl, is a great playoff performance enough to convince a fan base switching quarterbacks mid season was wise? When you hold the record for most points in a playoff game for a franchise with such a great quarterback history, you have at least convinced me.
In the end, in his first playoff game ever, Colin Kaepernick out-dueled Aaron Rodgers, scored 45 points, and sent the 49ers to the NFC Championship Game, cementing his place as the 49ers quarterback of the future.