There. I said it.
Colin Kaepernick has not been as good as expected. It hurts to say, but that’s what happens when you end the season on such a high note.
At a glance:
His QB rating of 87.6 is lagging behind last season’s numbers (98.3), but that’s not telling the entire story. He’s throwing more times per game than last year, but the completion rate just isn’t there and I feel like that’s most of the problem.
The offense is making the run game work for them even better than they did last year. In the regular season, he threw 10 TDs. This year with only half a season behind him, he’s thrown nine. Not spectacular numbers all by themselves. For comparison, Peyton Manning has 29, Drew Brees has 21, Matthew Stafford has 16, Cam Newton has 13 and even Jay Cutler has 12. By virtue of the way the team as a whole is working, it’s enough to get the win.
Things to remember:
It clearly isn’t just his fault. While offensive line play is still generally strong, there’s been a whole lot more pressure coming at the quarterback. This isn’t a new tactic by defenses. It’s a well known fact that a QB who doesn’t have time to make his throws, isn’t going to make his throws. Another reason it isn’t all his fault? I say it again and again. Wide receivers. While Anquan Boldin is generally worth trusting and Vernon Davis is performing at a level we’re used to seeing, the targets behind these two men are keeping the San Francisco 49ers from showing off an explosive passing attack to go along with a league leading rushing attack.
There is good news on the horizon in all of this. Players are getting healthy. Injuries devastated the Niners offensively this offseason. Mario Manningham is active for the game this weekend, though he might not see any field time yet. And in even better news, Michael Crabtree was cleared for practice just this week. Getting both those players onto the field to line up along with Boldin is going to solidify a passing attack that has so far, lacked the dominating aspect it started the year with.
So, to sum up? Kaepernick might not be living up to expectations, but I don’t think that’s a bad thing. He’s a very young quarterback, and plays week in and week out with a fire you like to see on your favorite team. He should only really get better, and there’s still more games to play this year. Other teams might not fear him they way they fear other qb’s, but they certainly fear this 49ers team.
Make sure to buy 49ers tickets for the second half of the season to watch Colin Kaepernick down the stretch run!