Following Sunday’s dismal and dreadful performance by quarterback Colin Kaepernick (11 for 22, 91 yards, 1 int), NFL pundits and experts began to question whether the third year signal caller was in fact just a 1-year wonder.
In his first full season as a starting QB in the NFL, Kaepernick has shown little of last year’s explosiveness and the dual threat that allowed him to set several records in the playoffs.
Through nine games, Kap is completing 56% of his passes for 1,675 yards, nine touchdown passes and six interceptions to go along with 310 yards rushing and three touchdowns.
Ex-49er Alex Smith (Chiefs), rookie Geno Smith (Jets), and second year starter Ryan Tannehill (Dolphins) all have more passing yards than Kaepernick.
But is Kap alone really to blame? Absolutely not, and here’s why.
Kaepernick is playing with a very patchwork offense that has been decimated with injuries in the pass catching category. Receiver Mario Manningham made his season debut against Carolina in Week 10 after missing most of this year and all the playoffs last year with a knee injury. Rookie Quinton Patton hasn’t played since Week 3 and Michael Crabtree has yet to be moved up to the active roster.
To add to that, the 49ers dealt AJ Jenkins to Kansas City for former 1st round pick Jon Baldwin, cut Marlon Moore, and on Tuesday released Kyle Williams.
Of Kapernick’s 124 completions on the season, 71 have gone to Anquan Boldin and tight end Vernon Davis, who left Sunday’s game with a concussion.
As the 49ers start to get their receivers back from injury, Colin Kaepernick’s numbers will improve, but for now, after nine games, the 49ers and their 3rd-year QB will just have to continue to stay afloat until reinforcements come.