As the San Francisco 49ers closed out the 2013 regular season on a six-game winning streak, a number of players ended the season playing well. One of them is QB Colin Kaepernick, who ended the season hitting his stride at the most important position in the game.
After having started the season with a career game against the Green Bay Packers in a Week 1 win, the play of Kaepernick was turbulent at times. He showed signs of a quarterback who was in his first full year that teams had adjusted to and were doing a better job of defending against them.
In addition, by not having the service of his no. 1 wide receiver in Michael Crabtree for most of the season, Kaepernick was working with a limit arsenal to whom he could regularly throw the football to. It was clear that this played a role in his ability to play as well as he is capable of.
Yet in the last six games, he has once again begun to show signs of maturity in his play as a quarterback. First and foremost, he once again knows when to run with the football. Him being a running threat once again has brought back that element which scared so many opposing defenses last season.
Even if he does not run with the football, Kaepernick has shown an ability to use the threat of running to keep plays alive and complete big-time passes.
Crabtree’s return has had a significant impact as well. While he has not put up eye-catching numbers since his return from his Achilles injury, he has allowed Kaepernick to have more confidence when dropping back to pass the football.
A big part to quarterback play is not committing turnovers, and Kaepernick has done that during the six-game winning streak to close out the regular season. He only threw one interception, a clear sign of him playing intelligently. As the 49ers head into their Wild Card playoff game against the Packers, there is no doubt that they have a quarterback who is playing his best football at the right time, which makes the 49ers a dangerous team.