There is no denying that Colin Kaepernick had his worst game as a pro in Seattle last year.
He completed only 52.8% of his passes and had the worst quarterback rating of his career. Coupled with the overall bad play from the entire team, the 49ers were dealt an embarrassing loss at the hands of their division rival. In the week 16 matchup, the 49ers struggled in every phase of the game and it turned out to be a 42-13 walloping in favor of the Seahawks. However, the 49ers will head back up to Seattle this Sunday night, looking for revenge.
Last time the 49ers played in Seattle, it was only Kaepernick’s sixth start of his career. He was not prepared for the hostile environment that Seattle brings. He was visibly shaken by the noise and the sloppiness that the entire team was playing with. He was flustered, and Seattle took advantage of it. But this time it will be different.
This time, Kaepernick is much more prepared to take on the famous 12th man. He has already played in high pressure games and situations such as the comebacks in NFC Championship Game and the Super Bowl. This offseason was his first as the starter and he has had an opportunity to create a much better chemistry with his teammates — the same chemistry he had with Boldin and Davis last Sunday against the Packers.
One of the biggest differences between last year to this year will be the help he will receive from his teammates. Last week, Kaepernick threw for over 400 yards, but Seattle has a much stronger secondary than the Packers and they are going to try and stop Kaepernick from throwing all over them like he did against Green Bay. That should open up the running game which will make it much easier for Kaepernick to throw the ball. On Sunday, the 49ers will try to pound the rock to keep Seattle’s defense honest which will in turn help Kaepernick carry the offense.
Against the Seahawks last year, Kaepernick threw the ball 36 times which was the most for him for all of last year. And after running for 131 yards in their first matchup, Frank Gore only got six carries for that entire game. That’s because after many unfortunate events that led to the 49ers being down by a great deal of points, the 49ers placed the entire team’s hopes of winning on Kaepernick’s shoulders and he was not ready for it. He tried to carry the team to victory, but it was just not enough to come back.
Kaepernick learned how to carry the offense to victory just a few short weeks after that game, and that will be the difference for this game. Kaepernick is now mentally and physically prepared to handle anything and everything the Seahawks throw at him. He is more confident in himself and his teammates.
Even the 12th man will not be able to rattle the stone-willed Kaepernick.