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Colin Kaepernick played well against the Bears
Do the 49ers have a quarterback controversy?
The media is certainly trying to create one, and in Jim Harbaugh's last press conference he did little to squelch the topic.
With Alex Smith out due to a concussion, Colin Kaepernick started the first game of his career last Monday night against the Chicago Bears.
Kaepernick played well and led the 49ers to a surprising 32-7 victory. He completed 16 of his 23 pass attempts, for 243 yards and two touchdowns. What was equally impressive was that Kaepernick did not turn the ball over against the Bears' defense which leads the league in takeaways.
Kaepernick displayed a much stronger arm and willingness to throw the ball downfield, which Smith often avoids. He also showed that his grasp of the 49ers' offensive system was improving as he guided the 49ers with confidence and a bit of a swagger.
The biggest beneficiary of Kaepernick playing may have been tight end Vernon Davis. He caught six passes for 83 yards and one touchdown. In the three games prior to Smith's injury, Davis caught only five passes for a total of 71 yards.
It appeared as if Smith was close to being cleared for last week's game and my guess is that he will be cleared for the game against the Saints.
If Smith is cleared to play, I expect him to be back in the lineup as the starter. Prior to his concussion, Smith had completed 25 of his last 27 pass attempts and was on a roll.
Head coach Jim Harbaugh is unlikely to remove Smith from the starting lineup if he's healthy. However, the leash will be shorter and if Smith struggles, it's good to know that we have a very capable understudy in Colin Kaepernick.