QB Corner first looked at Colin Kaepernick in a tough defensive game against the Carolina Panthers. As multiple 49ers expressed prior to their playoff date in Carolina, the 49ers were missing key offensive personnel in the earlier game, including Vernon Davis for the 2nd half and Michael Crabtree for the entirety of the game.
The Crabtree injury is especially interesting given the monstrous numbers he had with Colin under center in 2012. Through the first half of this year, despite a few big games from Anquan Boldin, the 49ers receivers never looked like they had the space that Crabtree was getting last year. Even Boldin isn’t necessarily open – I have long maintained that he simply makes catches through coverage.
The real weakness was secondary receivers, as Kyle Williams, Quinton Patton, Jon Baldwin, and Company who couldn't separate from coverage. Did you know that after Boldin and Davis, the next-leading receiver by catches was fullback Bruce Miller? Or that 49ers backs had 48 catches for 443 yards and 0 TDs on the season compared to 40 grabs for 454 yards and 0 TDs from receivers not named Boldin, Davis, or Crabtree?
I wanted to study Colin in a game where he had his #1 target back, and what better game to analyze than against another fantastic defense in the Super Bowl Champion Seattle Seahawks. This is especially important this offseason as the 49ers are looking to extend their QB. My goal is to use his numbers and tape to give a ballpark range for how much Kaepernick is worth to this team. First, the numbers from the season:
All numbers from Pro-Football Reference