Colin Kaepernick is failing the 49ers
The San Francisco 49ers went to the Super Bowl in 2012 and narrowly lost to the Baltimore Ravens. It was crushing, but it seemed like San Francisco was going to be back and win many more times throughout the decade.
During the 2012 season, the 49ers made the decision to replace veteran quarterback Alex Smith with second-year man Colin Kaepernick, who had been drafted in the second round out of the University of Nevada in 2011. Kaepernick became an overnight sensation across the country, even getting to trademark his celebration of kissing his bicep, now known as Kaepernicking.
In 2013, Kaepernick continued to look like a potential franchise quarterback. The youngster threw for 3,197 yards and 21 touchdowns with eight interceptions, leading San Francisco back to the playoffs. The 49ers finished behind the Seattle Seahawks in the NFC West but were able to beat the Green Bay Packers and Carolina Panthers on the road before facing Seattle in the NFC Championship Game. The contest famously ended with Kaepernick forcing a ball to Michael Crabtree in the end zone, which was deflected and intercepted by Malcolm Smith.
Since then, Kaepernick has been on a downhill spiral. The 49ers went 8-8 last year while Kaepernick fell apart down the stretch. The 27-year-old Wisconsin native continued to struggle with making accurate throws or going through progressions. Despite throwing for a career-high 3,369 yards, Kaepernick only completed 60.5 percent of his passes. Over the last five games, the 49ers went 1-4 while Kaepernick threw five touchdowns and five interceptions.
In the early portion of the 2015 season, Kaepernick has completely fallen apart. The 49ers have been decimated by free agency and retirement with the departures of Patrick Willis, Chris Borland, Justin Smith, Aldon Smith, Frank Gore, Mike Iupati, Michael Crabtree, Chris Culliver and Anthony Davis. Kaepernick was expected to help pick up the pieces, but instead he has been awful.
After going 17-of-26 for 165 yards in a season-opening win against the Minnesota Vikings, Kaepernick surged mightily against the rancid Pittsburgh Steelers defense. Kaepernick went for 335 yards and a pair of touchdowns while hitting on 33-of-46 throws, but everything cam crashing down against the Arizona Cardinals on Sunday.
Facing the Cardinals, Kaepernick threw a pair of pick-sixes before the end of the first quarter, putting San Francisco in a hole it never recovered from. The 49ers ended up losing 47-7 while Kaepernick completed 9-of-19 passes for 67 yards and four interceptions. The final result was a 3.2 QBR and a 16.7 quarterback rating.
At this point, the 49ers are floating in the abyss with Kaepernick. San Francisco can’t see a legitimate future at this point with a quarterback who can’t string two good games together. Head coach Jim Tomsula should start lobbying general manager Trent Baalke to draft a quarterback, because the 49ers need one.