Monday, November 19, 2012

Colin Kaepernick, A History Lesson

The 49ers defeated the Bears 32-7 behind a strong effort from Colin Kaepernick.  Making his first career start one week after coming in for an injured Alex Smith, Kaepernick completed 16 of 23 passes for 243 yards and 2 touchdown's.

Kaepernick did a little bit of everything in this game.  He completed passes of every type, short, deep, touch passes and lasers.  In fact on one incompletion to Randy Moss, the pass was so hard that it dislocated Moss' finger.  Kaepernick's long passes included shots to Kyle Williams (57 yards), Mario Manningham (37 yards), Vernon Davis (32 yards) and Michael Crabtree (20 yards).

It was a brilliant performance against one of the top ranked defenses in the NFL, and it was the best first start for a 49er quarterback since Jeff Garcia in 1999.

On October 3, 1999, one week after coming in to replace an injured Steve Young, Garcia made his NFL starting debut against the Tennessee Titans.  Garcia led the 49ers to victory that day 24-22, completing 21 of 33 passes for 243 yards, and 2 touchdowns.

Those numbers should look familiar, as they are the same yardage and touchdown totals as Kaepernick, 243 yards and 2 touchdowns.

While I am very high on what Kaepernick brings to the table, it is one game.  The week after defeating the Titans, Garcia led the 49ers into St Louis where they were promptly trounced by the Rams 42-20 and while Garcia still threw for 233 yards, he also had 3 interceptions.

One thing that differentiates the two is the overall strenght of their respective teams.  While statistics site, Football Outsiders calculates that the 1999 49ers had the second worst pass defense they've ever tracked, the 2012 49ers have one of the best defenses in the league.

As we move through this week and discuss whether Kaepernick should get another start in New Orleans, or whether Alex Smith should be back in if he is cleared, remember this lesson.  In the words of Winston Churchill, "Those who fail to learn from history are doomed to repeat it."

*I will definitely have more to say on this topic later in the week once I have the opportunity to watch the coaches film.  Stay tuned.*

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