Last season, the San Francisco 49ers had a Week 11 bout with the Chicago Bears on Monday Night Football. 49ers starting quarterback Alex Smith was sidelined with a concussion. This gave second-year quarterback Colin Kaepernick his first chance as a starter. The rest is history.
Kaepernick completed 16 of 23 passes for 246 yards and two touchdowns. He did not turn the ball over as the 49ers destroyed the Bears 32-7. Kaepernick proved to a national audience that he can be a starting quarterback in the NFL. He continued to improve as a passer and even though Smith was ready to return, there was no going back now. Smith is a nice game manager at the quarterback position, but Kaepernick is an elite-level talent that can lead a team to the promise land.
As we all know, Kaepernick’s ability to throw the ball combined with his elite rushing ability, helped lead the 49ers all the way to the Super Bowl. San Francisco lost to the Baltimore Ravens in the big game, but they had a very successful season and now have one of the most exciting young players in the game.
I think Kaepernick will continue to shine in his second season as a starter. The former second round pick is a dynamic athlete. He uses his athletic ability as well, if not better than anyone at the quarterback position. The 49ers use Kaepernick tremendously in their Read-Option game. Head Coach Jim Harbaugh seems to understand how to run the ball in many different ways. He uses Kaepernick’s athletic ability to his advantage and I see no reason why that will not continue this season.
Kaepernick is far from being a traditional “pocket passer.” His dynamic rushing ability is a huge part of his game, and is what makes him so difficult to defend. That being said, Kaepernick is a better passer than what he gets credit for. He has a very strong arm and seems to be able to read the defense very well. He forces passes sometimes and his accuracy could use a little work, but I only expect that to get better with time.
The 49ers are one of the best teams in the NFL and are legitimate Super Bowl contenders. Because of the expected success of San Francisco, I think Kaepernick is a legitimate MVP candidate. If he can build on his success from last season, the sky is the limit for the young quarterback.