What a difference a year makes. Last year the San Francisco 49ers looked like they had the quarterback of the future. One that could tear defenses apart on the ground and dissect them through the air. A quarterback that had the potential to make an explosive play on every down and most importantly one that can win big. This same guy has struggled in his first full year as a starter and has been hard pressed to throw for 100 yards.
Let’s get something straight, the Carolina Panthers’ defense is legit. That front seven harassed Colin Kaepernick all game long but when it comes down to it, going 11 for 22 for 91 yards and an interception in a 10-9 loss is not going to get it done at the pro football level.
Yes, Vernon Davis missed most of the game with a concussion and the offensive line didn’t have a good day in terms of protection but elite quarterbacks face these type of situations all the time and more often then not manage to come through.
The 49ers have been winning games lately so not a lot has been made of Kaepernick’s struggles but this past performance is very alarming. Has Kaepernick regressed or was last year an aberration?
Last year, Kaepernick had Michael Crabtree as a target he could go to when he was in tough situations and this year he hasn’t had that. The 49ers’ receivers have had a miserable first half of the season and this could be attributed to the loss of Crabtree. Reggie Wayne of the Colts recently went down with a season-ending knee injury and that offense hasn’t been nearly as effective since. Crabtree should be back by the end of the month but even if he’s 100%, it will still come down to the execution by Kaepernick.
These past few games he has been indecisive about where he wants to go with the football. He drops back, sees that his primary target is covered then he pulls the ball back and starts to roll out, run with it, or ends up throwing it away. Last year’s playoff run proved that he could be successful standing in the pocket and throwing the football and if the 49ers want to reach the Super Bowl again, he has to be able to do that when the team needs him to.
Colin Kaepernick definitely has the talent; now he has to step up and prove to the world that when it’s all said and done, people will put him in the same sentence with all-time greats like Montana and Young.
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