This season didn’t start too promising for the San Francisco 49ers. After a solid opening day win over the Green Bay Packers, a team they thought could be an NFC favorite, the 49ers lost two straight and quarterback Colin Kaepernick looked visibly different than a year ago.
San Francisco then went on to win five straight games behind mostly a great defensive effort and a consistent running game. Throughout the run, Kaepernick still didn’t look like himself and struggled both in the run and pass game most of the time. San Francisco’s 3rd ranked rush defense and 11th ranked pass defense has held them up all season long when things got tough.
Over the last two games, Kaepernick has seemed to come back to life. He’s thrown for over 500 yards, four touchdowns and zero interceptions, finishing both games with a passer rating of over 110. The problem with those two wins, and the ones previously this season, is that the 49ers haven’t beaten a team with a winning record all year other than the Arizona Cardinals.
Sunday, the Seattle Seahawks’ 1st-ranked pass defense will give Kaepernick all he can handle. Though the 8-4 record looks good on paper, the 49ers have yet to face a team like Seattle because, well, there really isn’t one like them.
Without two of their top two defensive backs, the Seahawks have still maintained at the top of the league in terms of defending the pass. Richard Sherman is still arguably the best corner in football and Earl Thomas is in the conversation for defensive player of the year as the “Legion of Boom” continues to shut down its opposing quarterbacks. This is a group that has a combined 60 passes defensed this season and 16 interceptions.
Whether Kaepernick realizes it or not, how he plays in this game could define his team’s season. He’s got to get up for a game like this — it could be his biggest game of the season, in respect to importance.