Colin Kaepernick: What Seahawks Loss Tells Us About 49ers QB Before NFL Playoffs

Nicholas GossCorrespondent IDecember 24, 2012

SEATTLE, WA - DECEMBER 23: quarterback Colin Kaepernick #7 of the San Francisco 49ers tries to get away from defensive end Bruce Irvin #51 of the Seattle Seahawks during the fourth quarter of the game at CenturyLink Field on December 23, 2012 in Seattle,Wa. The Seahawks won the game 42-13. (Photo by Steve Dykes/Getty Images)
Steve Dykes/Getty Images

Colin Kaepernick didn't have one of his best performances on Sunday night when the San Francisco 49ers lost to the Seattle Seahawks 42-13, but there is no reason for fans to panic about his readiness for the NFL playoffs.

This was a "team" loss for the 49ers. They didn't play well on offense or defense, and to Kaepernick's credit, his stat line wasn't terrible. He completed 19-of-36 pass attempts for 244 yards with a touchdown pass and an interception.

The running game didn't help the passing offense at all on Sunday night. The 49ers have the fourth-best rushing attack in the NFL, but they were only able to rack up 82 yards on the ground versus the Seahawks—75 yards less than the team's average this season.

Kaepernick finished the game as the 49ers' leading rusher with 31 yards on seven carries. Star running back Frank Gore only rushed for 28 yards on six carries.

Seattle does have the 11th-ranked rushing defense, but the 49ers won't face any bad defenses in the playoffs, so the lack of production from the running game is a bit of a concern.

Kaepernick did well against the Seahawks when you consider the lack of help that he was getting from the running game in addition to the fact that Seattle's fifth-ranked passing defense was able to sit back for most of the game because the 49ers were in obvious passing situations after falling behind early.

There is no reason to be concerned about Kaepernick going into the playoffs. He has proven that he can play well on the road against good teams and not make too many mistakes throughout the last two weeks—first at New England and then on Sunday night in Seattle.

Kaepernick is 4-2 as a starter, and over the last two weeks, his defense has given up an average of 33 points. This was after the 49ers hadn't allowed 30 or more points in the previous 14 weeks of the season.

Obviously, Kaepernick isn't the main reason for the team's struggles in recent games.

The fact remains that Kaepernick is still a trustworthy quarterback going into the playoffs. He has thrown eight touchdown passes and only three interceptions, and he is always a threat to make a big play in the running game. Kaepernick also has quality wins against the Patriots, Bears and Saints.

The experience that he has received over the last quarter of the season will only help him prepare for the struggles that he will face in the postseason.

Sunday night's defeat to Seattle was a tough one for 49ers fans since the defense played so poorly and the NFC's No. 2 seed is still up for grabs. But Kaepernick did not show any major weaknesses that should worry San Francisco fans over the next few weeks.

Kaepernick is still the best quarterback for the 49ers' offense, and there is no question that he should be head coach Jim Harbaugh's choice as the team's starter throughout the playoffs.