QB Colin Kaepernick, San Francisco 49ers
HT: 6-4, WT: 233, Born: 10-3-1987, College: Nevada, Drafted: Round 2
|Outlook • Career Statistics • Game Logs • Split Stats • Play-by-play • Latest News|
Average draft position
Current as of May 6th. [Full ADP list]Overall: J Witten (50), M Ryan (51), Colin Kaepernick (52), L Miller (53), D Bowe (54)
Position: C Newton (36-QB5), M Ryan (51-QB6), Colin Kaepernick (52 - QB7), M Stafford (58-QB8), R Wilson (62-QB9)
Click here for a comparison of these players.
|1||Green Bay Packers|
|2||at Seattle Seahawks|
|4||at St. Louis Rams|
|7||at Tennessee Titans|
|8||at Jacksonville Jaguars|
|11||at New Orleans Saints|
|12||at Washington Redskins|
|13||St. Louis Rams|
|15||at Tampa Bay Buccaneers|
|17||at Arizona Cardinals|
2012 Game Summaries
Week 4 - Kaepernick played the ‘Tebow’ role for the 49er offense. Kaepernick appeared on his team’s second drive and ran the option with Delanie Walker. Kaepernick showed some nice burst, keeping the ball and picking up 17 yards. Three plays later, Kaepernick came back in, but misfired on a deep ball to Randy Moss. Kaepernick made a bad read by forcing the ball into triple coverage, but luckily, the pass was not intercepted. Kaepernick redeemed himself on the next drive, taking a designed run left for a seven-yard touchdown. Kaepernick was patient, letting Joe Staley lead the way, but accelerated for the score when he saw daylight.
With the 49ers holding a 34-0 lead, the 49ers let Kaepernick lead the final ‘garbage time’ drive. On his final play, Kaepernick took a designed run right for 26 yards. Kaepernick could have easily scored, but slid just two yards before the goal line. With the game in-hand, there was no need to score an unnecessary touchdown. Kaepernick is a great ‘gadget’ quarterback and gives the 49ers an additional element to their offense.
Week 5 - Harbaugh has used Kaepernick more and more as the weeks have progressed in an option role, and Kaepernick has largely taken advantage of the opportunity. His one mistake was losing a fumble when Nick Barnett was able to strip the ball with a hard hit. In the second half, Kaepernick took a pitch and with time flung it far downfield for a tightly covered Davis. The pass was incomplete and the play negated by penalty, but the play occurred with the game still somewhat in question and demonstrated just how aggressive the 49ers are willing to be with Kaepernick. Soon after, he ran the option and kept it himself, running in vacated space to the 1 yard line and setting up a Frank Gore touchdown. Kaepernick’s touchdown run came after the game was already a blowout, and was a well executed option read. Kaepernick weaved through great blocking and ran in for the score.
Week 7 - On a read option at the goalline, Kaepernick carried the football looking to break outside towards the pylon. He was tracked by Red Bryant allthe way before KJ Wright and multiple other defenders came in to stop him for a short loss.
Week 10 - Thrust in to the game after Smith’s concussion, Kaepernick looked lost in his first two quarters of action. Numerous times he overthrew his receivers, including a wide open Vernon Davis deep in the 2nd quarter. Other times he didn’t recognize open wide receivers at all, such as when Kyle Williams had blown by everyone and Kaepernick was locked in to dumping the ball off to Kendall Hunter. However, in the 4th quarter Kaepernick found a groove, hitting targets for medium gains repeatedly, even while pressured. Once, while under heavy duress Kaepernick threw a perfect ball out to Manningham on a pivot route for a 20 yard gain, then two plays later, Kaepernick threw an accurate ball to Moss 13 yards downfield. The only problem was that between those two plays, Kaepernick fumbled the snap and was lucky that Gore picked the ball up and ran for a first. Fumbling issues continued to haunt him for the rest of the game, and soon after Kaepernick was stripped from behind while scrambling away from pressure, and again a 49er was able to fall on the loose ball. What was probably Kaepernick’s largest contribution to the 49er’s offense was his running ability. On the final drive, two long runs by Kaepernick set up the 49ers’ game tying field goal, and in the red zone, Kaepernick ran a play action rollout. He sprinted towards the end zone, but James Laurinaitis was between him and the end zone. With a shimmy move, Kaepernick left the linebacker flat footed and Kaepernick was able to sprint in to the end zone for a touchdown.
Week 11 - For the first start of his career, Kaepernick was extremely calm in the pocket. He was able to make all of the pre-snap reads and audible in to advantageous plays. When going through his reads, Kaepernick often made the correct decision on where to go with the ball, even when under heavy pressure. On one play in the second half, the defender had blown through the line and Kaepernick stood tall in the pocket and delivered a perfect ball in between two defenders, right in to the arms of Vernon Davis. When given time, Kaepernick was able to demonstrate great accuracy at every level, whether short, medium or long routes. In the first quarter, Kaepernick ran a play action and Davis beat Major Wright down the field. Kaepernick delivered a perfect ball over his tight end’s shoulder, and Davis was able to catch the ball in stride. On the next drive, Kyle Williams was able to blow by coverage and again, Kaepernick threw a perfect ball down field. With the success of the run game, play action was effective against the Bears’ defense, and Kaepernick ran the fakes to a superb level. On his first touchdown pass, Kaepernick faked the hand-off to Frank Gore, and Davis was able to beat his defender. With Davis wide open running across the end zone, Kaepernick stood tall in the pocket and delivered an accurate throw. Even though Kaepernick is recognized as a quarterback who has the ability to run for long gains, when scrambling Kaepernick always kept his eyes downfield, looking for a receiver that would adjust to the broken play. Kaepernick’s second touchdown was a result of such a play, with the quarterback flushed out of the pocket and scrambling to his left. Michael Crabtree readjusted and got to the corner of the end zone, and Kaepernick made a perfect throw on the run. Though it was an ugly throw across his body, the ball was delivered to exactly where it needed to be. Whether he was given time or under pressure, repeatedly Kaepernick made accurate throws and correct decisions. His arm strength allowed him to rifle balls in to quickly closing windows, and the boldness of some of his throws created big plays in the passing game that rarely was a part of the previous 49er offense.
Week 12 - Kaepernick had an admirable game, overcoming mistakes, miscommunication, and a boomingly loud Superdome. After a three and out on their first drive, Kaepernick completed a short throw to Manningham, who made an excellent cut to get open and then sprinted 40 yards downfield. After another accurate throw to Manningham to get San Francisco to the 7 yard line, Kaepernick kept a read-option, ran to the left side and cut across the goal line for a score. What made the running touchdown so impressive was the great blocking by his fullback and Randy Moss, allowing Kaepernick to cut between the blockers and glide in to the end zone. But Kaepernick had a harder time as the 1st half progressed and New Orleans generated pressure. Kaerpernick was often flushed from the pocket, forced to make throws on the run or scramble for minimal gains. The noise from the crowd also made pre-snap communication difficult, and San Francisco had to burn their timeouts early because of pre-snap confusion. Kaepernick’s lone interception came on a messy play, as the ball was snapped in to the ground. Kaepernick tried to pick the ball up while keeping his eyes down field, resulting in the quarterback rushing through his progressions and not seeing the corner beneath Kyle Williams, and the defense was able to pick the ball off easily. The interception might have hurt San Francisco more had Drew Brees not been picked off soon after. On the first drive of the second half, Kaepernick threw a perfect ball to Delanie Walker on a long post route, setting up San Francisco in the red zone. Three plays later, Kaepernick executed a play-action roll out that completely froze the defense, and Kaepernick was able to dump the ball off to a wide open Frank Gore, who sauntered in to the end zone. With yet another pick-six on New Orleans’ next drive, Kaepernick spent much of the second half handing the ball off and protecting the lead, though not before demonstrating his arm strength on rifles to his wide receivers and tight ends, as well as sound decision making in a silenced Superdome.
Week 13 - Though Kaepernick again proved that he has all of the physical tools to make big plays in the run and passing game, his inexperience led to two plays that doomed the 49ers. Kaepernick’s first major mistake came when he was flushed from the pocket and retreated in to the end zone, even though the play had originated at the 17 yard line. Now in his own end zone, Kaepernick flung the ball out of bounds and was penalized for intentional grounding, resulting in a safety. Though there was disagreement about whether or not the ball crossed the line of scrimmage, the decision to escape that far backwards in to one’s own end zone was a very poor one. His second major mistake came as the 49ers were attempting to run out the clock. The 49ers’ decision to run an option play on their own 12 yard line had the worst possible outcome, as Kaepernick received a low snap and then floated the pitch far over Ted Ginn Jr.’s head. Janoris Jenkins dove for the fumbled pitch and rolled in to the end zone for a defensive touchdown. However, even with those two major mistakes looming over the performance, Kaepernick did display some impressive physical feats. With such a strong arm Kaepernick was able to rifle balls through closing windows, but Kaepernick also showed a great amount of touch on longer throws. On one throw to Michael Crabtree, Kaepernick was able to throw the ball with enough touch to loop over the undercutting corner, but with enough speed to get to Crabtree before the safety arrived. On a play action pass in the red zone, Kaepernick threw a perfect ball over Delanie Walker’s shoulder and right in to the tight end’s hands, only to watch Walker drop the sure touchdown. There were throws that Kaepernick missed on though, such as a medium crossing route to Vernon Davis where Kaepernick floated the ball too far to the left. Many of Kaepernick’s missed throws were due to the amount of pressure St. Louis was able to bring all game. Often Kaepernick had to escape the collapsing pocket, and he showed the speed and awareness to escape left or right while keeping his eyes downfield. However, St. Louis had tight coverage in the secondary all game and Kaepernick was largely unable to connect with his receivers when the play broke down. Kaepernick was able to pick up a few yards when scrambling, though his most significant play came on the 49ers’ final drive of regulation. Flushed from the pocket yet again, Kaepernick scrambled to the right with Bruce Miller and Frank Gore. Miller stayed alongside Kaepernick as Gore upended the first oncoming tackler. Downfield blocks by wide receivers sealed the sideline as Kaepernick sprinted for a 50 yard gain.
Week 14 - San Francisco’s offensive line struggled all game in pass protection, resulting in an underwhelming performance for Colin Kaepernick. The quarterback was pressured early and often, forcing Kaepernick to rely on quick throws underneath. This strategy had some success due to the strength of Kaepernick’s arm. All game Kaepernick rifled balls in to his receiver’s hands, and the arrival speed allowed Crabtree and Moss to take advantage of the cushion given to them by the defense. A large portion of San Francisco’s passing yardage came from the receivers making runs after the catch, as the constant pressure by Miami prevented longer pass plays from developing. The one open deep shot by Kaepernick came on a perfectly executed flea-flicker. Receiving the pitch back from Gore, Kaepernick threw a deep ball that landed right in Moss’ hands in the end zone. The ball might have been caught as well had the corner not grabbed Moss’ arm and pulled while the receiver attempted to make the catch. The injuries of Mario Manningham and Kyle Williams also limited the number of multiple wide receiver sets the 49ers ran, and San Francisco instead relied on multiple back formations that favored the power running game. When pressured, Kaepernick didn’t make any questionable decisions by throwing the ball in to heavy traffic, but Kaepernick was also unable to gain any yards on scrambles. In fact, on one attempt to escape the collapsing pocket, Cameron Wake was able to strip Kaepernick from behind. It was sloppy ball security by Kaepernick, who was bailed out by Anthony Davis’ dive on to the fumble. The majority of Kaepernick’s rushing yardage actually came on an option read in the 4th quarter as the 49ers were running down the clock. Seeing the defense committed to the right, Kaepernick kept the ball and ran to the newly sealed left. With only two defenders on the left side, both of whom were blocked, Kaepernick was able to sprint through an open field for a 50 yard touchdown.
Week 15 - Playing in Foxboro against one of top teams in the league added a great deal of pressure to the second year quarterback. Coupled with the cold weather and constant falling sleet, Kaepernick’s game was all the more impressive. His throws were accurate and hard, arriving on time and located where his receivers could best make the catch and make the play. He did make a few overthrows, particularly on a deep throw to Vernon Davis deep down the middle. Davis had three steps on the coverage and Kaepernick put the ball just a yard too far. Kaepernick also threw a terrible pass on his interception. With time on a play action pass, Kaepernick was late and under threw his pass to a double covered Randy Moss in the end zone. The safety was able to undercut the throw easily for an interception. But on his four touchdown throws, Kaepernick showed spectacular mental and physical abilities. On the first touchdown throw, Moss ran past his man and found space running towards the end zone. Kaepernick threw a deep ball with perfect touch, right in to Moss’ arms and the receiver didn’t have to break stride crossing the goal line. On the second touchdown, Kaepernick looked to his first option on the left, but the receiver was tightly covered. Vernon Davis ran a post route inside, and Kaepernick locked on to the tight end as the safety cheated inside, opening space for Delanie Walker down the sideline. Kaepernick’s hard throw arrived as Walker crossed the goal line, right in to the tight end’s gut. New England often struggled to generate a lot of pressure, and on the third touchdown pass Kaepernick was unhurried as he stood in the pocket and threw accurately down the middle, in to Crabtree’s hand as the receiver caught the ball in stride and dove between two defenders for a score. The fourth touchdown was the result of great defensive recognition, as Kaepernick identified the Cover 0 and threw left to Crabtree. The receiver had enough cushion to spin away from his tackler and take advantage of the lack of safety help overhead to run down the field for a score. There were some troubling aspects of Kaepernick’s game however, as the quarterback repeatedly fumbled the snap when under center. With no trouble receiving the snap in the shotgun formation, the constant miscues from under center seemed to be more a result of some technical problem with the center-quarterback exchange than a result of weather. The 49ers were lucky to recover each fumbled snap, and Kaepernick’s great performance could have gone sour had the Patriots been able to capitalize on these mistakes.
Week 16 - At the start of the game, Kaepernick looked completely lost. The intense crowd noise in Seattle forced Kaepernick to waste two time outs to avoid delay of game penalties and Kaepernick was unable to communicate audibles. What resulted was a San Francisco offense that was incredibly flat, unable to complete basic short routes that were so seamless a week ago. Perhaps the heavy, cold rain contributed to Kaepernick’s accuracy issues, but throws that he had placed accurately since taking over the job were often erratic. Kaepernick was pressured often and forced to throw on the run, and his sidearm delivery was inaccurate as he scrambled away from pressure. In fact, Kaepernick began to give up on passing plays quicker than he had weeks before, unwilling to stand in the pocket to wait out longer routes. What resulted were scramble plays that led to minimal gains as the Seattle defense rarely lost contain. Adding to Kaepernick’s lack of success throwing accurate balls was Seattle’s ability to tightly cover every receiving option. Kaepernick’s options were rarely open, and the quarterback was forced to throw balls in to tightly contested spaces. As San Francisco fell behind by more and more scores, Kaepernick was forced to throw more often than usual as the running game was all but abandoned. Seattle was then able to run mostly pass coverage and tee off with the pass rush, adding further difficulty to the passing game. Even when Kaepernick was able to escape the collapsing pocket, his receivers were unable to improvise along with him, and the speed of Seattle’s defense limited any of the San Francisco receivers from getting behind the coverage. That’s not to say Kaepernick was a disaster as he made a few excellent throws, especially a long pass down the right sideline in to Michael Crabtree’s hands. Richard Sherman had the wide receiver tightly covered, and only a perfect ball over his shoulder allowed the play to achieve success. His touchdown pass was also a fine throw, as Walker broke to the corner of the end zone and Kaepernick threw an accurate ball to the tight end’s chest. But that throw came deep in garbage time, and Kaepernick’s interception prior to the touchdown was what sealed San Francisco’s loss. On the 3 yard line in the 4th quarter, Kaepernick scrambled about as his receivers ran crossing routes in the end zone. Tentative about where to throw the ball, Kaepernick threw a late ball in to the middle of the end zone, directed at Randy Moss. With all the traffic, Kaepernick didn’t see Sherman and the corner was able to easily undercut the pass for an interception.
Week 17 - After a rough performance last week, Kaepernick seemed to carry over some of the same issues as the 49ers began the game with three straight 3-and-outs. However, Kaepernick soon shook off the flatness that the offense had been draped in, and began completing some beautiful long throws (to Michael Crabtree in particular). The first long throw came on a post route to the middle, where Kaepernick placed the ball in the perfect spot for Crabtree to run just before and between the two safeties for a 31 yard gain. On the very next play, Kaepernick delivered another perfectly placed ball while running to his left, showing incredible arm strength to throw such a deep ball while on the move. The ball landed right over Crabtree’s shoulder far down the left sideline, and the wide receiver was able to sprint for a 49 yard touchdown. The combination of incredible accuracy matched with heavy arm strength allowed Kaepernick to throw medium and long routes perfectly, hitting his receivers far downfield in spots where they could either run through the catch to pick up extra yards or where the receiver could beat tight coverage. An example of Kaepernick throwing to where the receiver could adjust came when Kaepernick was flushed from the pocket and again moving left. Kaepernick threw an accurate pass to Walker’s body downfield, short enough for the tight end to come back and locate the ball as the corner kept tight coverage. Kaepernick also showed a great amount of touch, and on one throw in the red zone Kaepernick threw a ball with just enough touch to loop it over the undercutting safety and in to the open hands of Michael Crabtree. The wide receiver was able to walk in to the end zone untouched. Kaepernick could have had another touchdown, throwing to Delanie Walker in the end zone as the tight end ran a long seam with a step on the coverage, but even though the ball hit Walker in the hands the tight end was unable to hold on. That’s not to say Kaepernick had a perfect game, as on one red zone throw he wasted good separation by Moss by throwing the ball low and inside instead of using touch to loop above the man. Moss had gained the outside position and a low throw was easily defended. Kaepernick was safe with the ball when no one came open; often electing to throw it away, more determined to throw when scrambling instead of taking off on runs. The arm strength and downfield accuracy that had made the 49ers so explosive when he first took over the job was back, and San Francisco was able to handily pull away after a flat 1st quarter.
Week 19 - On his very first drive, Kaepernick threw a bad interception to Sam Shields that was returned for a touchdown. Kaepernick had loads of time in the pocket, but coverage over his initial read was good. He reversed his vision the whole way to the other sideline, but threw the ball straight to Shields while running left. Kaepernick was looking to Vernon Davis but there wasn't enough on the ball to reach him. Kaepernick missed the opportunity to hit a wide open Randy Moss deep down the field for a touchdown on the next drive, as he was hesitant running across his body, but he followed that up with a scramble to his left before finding Frank Gore for a 45 yard gain down the left sideline. After taking a sack and a Gore run, Kaepernick took off for an easy touchdown run when a lane opened right in front of him. The Packers didn't have anyone spying him and lost contain with their pass rush. Kaepernick broke free for 13 yards on third and two at the start of the next drive on a read option play. After bobbling the snap to give up a sack, Kaepernick hit Crabtree underneath in the redzone to score an easy touchdown. On third and nine, Kaepernick near the endzone, Kaepernick escaped from the pocket and sprinted for a 20 yard gain and a first down. However, he then spiked the ball to draw a taunting penalty to push his team back 15 yards. Two plays later, Kaepernick threw a perfect strike to Crabtree for a touchdown. Most importantly, the placement of the football allowed Crabtree to catch the ball even with a defender draped over him. The Packers weren't spying Kaepernick and their pass rush wasn't pushing the pocket as a group to contain him. On multiple occasions he was able to break free for big gains and had 107 easy rushing yards before the half-time break. Capers altered his approach to defending the 49ers' attack at the beginning of the second half, using a more cautious pass rush approach and more zone coverage. However, Kaepernick broke free on a read-option outside right tackle for a huge touchdown run when no defender could even touch him.
Week 20 - In the first two drives, Kaepernick and the 49ers offense looked like they were on the verge of getting blown out of the building. Despite the two three-and-outs and an early 17-0 deficit on the road, Kaepernick did not flinch. The run game and short passes in the second quarter gave Kaepernick some momentum as the game turned into a track meet leading up to halftime. While Matt Ryan was posting a game’s worth of passing statistics in the first 30 minutes, Kaepernick held his own with two vital touchdown drives to trail at the half only 24-14. His pocket movement began to impact the Atlanta defense as the game wore on, including the read option, which worked far better with LaMichael James in the game instead of Frank Gore. In the second half, it was more Frank Gore in the read-option running game as the 49ers moved the ball at will outside of turnovers and a missed field goal. Kaepernick looked like a seasoned veteran instead of the first-year starter he is on the final drives. He was decisive in his decision-making and has one of the strongest arms in the entire league when he lets it rip. Kaepernick threw only 21 passes on the day, but completed all by five and did not turn the ball over. Those are tremendous achievements for a young quarterback on the road. He never wavered and, outside of the first two drives of the game, moved the offense nearly at will. On a team with playmakers in all three phases of the game, Kaepernick has a great chance to finish off his second NFL season with a Super Bowl ring in two weeks.