In some cases, the offensive numbers do not tell the whole story of a game. Take last Sunday’s 23-10 win by the San Francisco 49ers over the Carolina Panthers where Cam Newton threw for 267 yards and ran for 54 yards, while Colin Kaepernick threw for 196 yards and ran for another 15.
While Newton had better passing and total yards, he also threw two interceptions while getting sacked five times while Kaepernick avoided turning the ball over and was sacked once during the game.
The same cannot be said about how Kaepernick has played in his two starts in Century Link Field. The quarterback, along with the 49ers, have struggled in what has been a losing effort. Because of this, it will be key for Kaepernick to at least play much better in order for the 49ers to come out victorious against the Seattle Seahawks.
In the 49ers’ most recent trip to Century Link Field back in Week 2 of the regular season, Kaepernick was 13-of-28 passing for 127 yards and threw three interceptions. Even though the final score of the game is unflattering to the 49ers, the fact is that the 49ers were in this game until the fourth quarter. There is no question that if Kaepernick had a better game on that Sunday night, the 49ers would have been in position to win.
In Sunday’s game, Kaepernick will have to play more like the quarterback that the Seahawks saw in Week 15. That does not necessarily mean that Kaepernick needs to throw for over 250 yards and have three touchdown passes, but he will have to be smarter with his throws and not commit untimely mistakes that could see things snowball on the 49ers.
As we have seen since his return from an offseason Achilles injury, Michael Crabtree being on the field despite still not being 100 percent has done wonders for Kaepernick’s play as a quarterback. This alone should give him full comfort in knowing that he does not have to force things against a stout Seahawks defense, and he must make sure to place his throws where only his receivers can make a play.
Quarterback play is always important in the NFL, it will be a big reason in who wins the NFC Championship Game. If Kaepernick can play a smart game, he will put his team in a very good position to get back to the Super Bowl.