For today's post I want to go over a few plays that show both the positive and negative aspects to Colin Kaepernick's performance on Sunday against the Rams.
Let's start with the missed pass everyone is talking about. On his first possession in the game replacing an injured Alex Smith, Kaepernick miss reads a well disguised Rams coverage scheme and misses a wide open Kyle Williams for a would be touchdown.
Let's first take a look as the coverage starts to unfold pre-snap.
As you can see, Cortland Finnegan has bailed from his slot coverage to the middle of the field. Both safeties appear to be taking steps forward.
The play has begun to unfold and Kaepernick does not properly read the post snap coverage. He ends up locking onto the left side of the play and completely misses a wide open Kyle Williams streaking down the right side between the numbers and the hash. This is definitely one that he would like to have back.
This next play does a good job of illustrating both the positives and negatives from Kaepernick's performance. This is still on his first possession of the game, the 4th snap to be exact, and the second called pass. It is 1st & 10 with the ball on the Rams 43 yard line.
Here is the illustration of the routes that will be run.
Kaepernick first takes a look deep to Moss on the streak. But he is well covered over the top by the corner.
He next takes a look at Bruce Miller in the flat, but sees the outside linebacker stepping up to make the play. This should open up the second level throw to TE Vernon Davis on a deep drag.
That is where he looks next. Davis looks covered by Laurinitis at this point, but there is a large area in of open space where he is running, and Davis is much faster than Laurinitis.
Kaepernick has begun his throwing motion and as you can see, Davis is starting to come open. Kaepernick ends up leading him a step too far.
Now let's take a look at possibly Kaepernick's most impressive play of the day. This is the first play of the 4th quarter. It is 2nd & 4 from the 49ers 25 yard line.
Here you can see the route design on top, and then the development of the play.
After a quick play action fake to Gore, Kaepernick sits in the pocket and delivers a strike 20 yards downfield to Mario Manningham on the deep out. This is an impressive throw, due to both the distance the ball needs to travel, and how Kaepernick stands tall amid the pressure for a perfect strike as seen below.
This last picture is for one of my favorite contributors to the Inside the 49ers blog. He is very frustrated that Kaepernick did not throw the ball to a wide open Frank Gore in the flat on the 49ers 1st play of their second overtime possession.
The play call is a shot play to the right with Moss running deep down the middle from the slot, Manningham going going deep to the corner and Gore leaking into the flat after the play fake. What I would like DS to notice in the picture below is that Kaepernick has come off the deep read and is starting to throw the ball to Gore (white circle), the only problem is that Gore has turned his back to Kaepernick, forcing him to pull the ball down and scramble to the right. As the play unfolds, Kaepernick tries to buy time by staying behind the line of scrimmage, but nobody comes open so he eventually runs ahead and out of bounds for a 2 yard gain.