Colin Kaepernick: 49ers' Young QB Must Have Game of His Life vs. Seahawks

Ryan RudnanskySenior Writer IDecember 18, 2012

FOXBORO, MA - DECEMBER 16: Colin Kaepernick #7 of the San Francisco 49ers warms up prior to the game against the New England Patriots prior to the game at Gillette Stadium on December 16, 2012 in Foxboro, Massachusetts. (Photo by Jared Wickerham/Getty Images)
Jared Wickerham/Getty Images

The San Francisco 49ers may have stunned the New England Patriots in Foxborough last week, but they will have their hands full with a red-hot Seattle Seahawks team on Sunday.

Not only that, the Seahawks have been excellent against the pass this season, and they are 6-0 at home.

Second-year quarterback Colin Kaepernick has his work cut out for him.

I expect the 49ers to stick with a run-heavy approach against a defense allowing 4.5 yards per carry this season, but Kaepernick is still going to have to make the necessary throws to move the chains. As Tony Romo, Aaron Rodgers and Tom Brady found out, that's awfully hard to do in Seattle.

In the Seahawks' 27-7 victory over the Cowboys in Week 2, Romo averaged a mediocre 6.3 yards per pass attempt  while tossing one touchdown and one interception.

In the Seahawks' 14-12 victory over Green Bay in Week 3, Rodgers averaged 5.7 yards per attempt with no touchdowns.

And in Seattle's 24-23 victory over the Patriots in Week 6, Brady averaged 6.8 yards per attempt while tossing two touchdowns and two interceptions. By the way, the Seahawks came back from a 23-10 deficit in the fourth quarter to win that game.

Kaepernick has performed better than anyone could have expected in his first five career starts.

He exploded against the Chicago Bears in his first career start in Week 11, averaging 10.6 yards per pass attempt while throwing two touchdowns. That's significant because Chicago's pass defense is similar to Seattle's unit.

On the other hand, Kaepernick did have a letdown game in the 49ers' 16-13 overtime loss to the St. Louis Rams in Week 13, averaging 6.5 yards per attempt without any touchdowns (although the dual-threat did rush for 84 yards in that game).

Kaepernick must do what no other opposing quarterback has done at CenturyLink Field this season; simply perform adequately.

Remember, the Minnesota Vikings have a dominant running game behind Adrian Peterson this season, but that didn't matter in the 30-20 loss to the Seahawks in Week 9, as Christian Ponder proved rather emphatically.

Kaepernick must make an impact, regardless of how San Francisco's running game performs.

If the 49ers' win this game, the accolades may go to Frank Gore or the defense.  But even if Kaepernick has a decent, efficient game, he should be applauded given the circumstances.

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