Going into the San Francisco 49ers‘ game against the Arizona Cardinals on Sunday, one of the keys to victory was the fact that Colin Kaepernick had to know how to manage the game and deliver on a key pass on third down to keep a drive going when needed. And that he did as Kaepernick completed 16-of-29 pass attempts for 252 yards and two touchdown passes as the 49ers won the game 32-20.
In the process of a winning performance, Kaepernick showed many who began to question whether or not he was a “good” quarterback that yes, he is a good quarterback who is more than capable of making some plays either with his legs or his arm when needed. After a slow start to the game, where Kaepernick found himself either being forced to hurry his throws because of pressure or his receivers dropping a pass, Kaepernick began to put everything together in the second quarter. He broke through with a 61-yard touchdown pass to Vernon Davis that would extend the 49ers’ lead to 15-7.
That touchdown pass clearly gave Kaepernick the confidence to be able to trust his receivers’ ability to make a key reception. He did not hesitate on making the necessary throw later on in the game, in particular on the key touchdown drive that extended the 49ers’ lead to 29-20. The throw also encouraged Kaepernick to be willing to use his legs as a threat even if he did not take off running, just like he did on a number of occasions last season.
The ultimate demonstration of Kaepernick having a good game was on said touchdown drive which extended the 49ers‘ lead to 29-20 and in essence, ended the game and secured a 49ers win. On that drive, Kaepernick did a very good job of running the offense, and when he needed to make a key third down pass to keep the nine-minute plus drive going, Kaepernick made the accurate pass necessary to keep the drive alive by throwing pinpoint catchable passes.
After his Week 1 performance, Colin Kaepernick did not all of sudden become the latest incarnation of what a top five NFL quarterback is suppose to look like. And after his struggles between Week 2-5, he did not all of the sudden become a clueless, below average quarterback. After Sunday, Kaepernick reminded all the doubters that he is a good NFL quarterback with a bright future who has only just made his 16th career regular season start.