The San Francisco 49ers have the next big thing in quarterback Colin Kaepernick, but the key word there is “next,” at least through one half of the Super Bowl. Niners head coach Jim Harbaugh made the most controversial decision in recent NFL history this year by keep Kaepernick as his starter after Alex Smith recovered a concussion and that seemed like the right decision until this point. In the first half of the HarBowl, Kaepernick has made some great plays and he’s made some not-so-great ones as his team is down by 15 at intermission and the Baltimore Ravens get the ball to start the second half. The incredible questioning surrounding Harbaugh’s decision will be begin again after this game if Kaepernick can’t orchestrate another historic comeback.
Kaepernick has made four passes–three to tight end Vernon Davis–that were absolutely incredible, but one was called back for a penalty. However, he’s made some third-down decisions while in the pocket that have really put his team in a hole halfway through the biggest game of his life. If there’s any coach that can get him back on track in the second half, it’s Harbaugh, but he’s also got to find a way to slow down the Ravens’ red-hot offense as well. One thing at a time, though.
For whatever reaosn, Kaepernick’s clock-management skills were a little off at the end of the first half as he took a sack instead of throwing the ball away to conserve time for a possible fourth-down conversion. That’s not nearly as bad as the fact he missed a wide open Michael Crabtree on an out route that would have given the 49ers a first down and stopped the clock. Had San Francisco been able to score a touchdown on that drive, it would have been an entirely different game heading into the second half and Kaepernick would have had way more confidence. Now it’s all up to Harbaugh to get him ready to lead another ferocious comeback. Either that or we could see Smith before the game is over. Never say never.