Colin Kaepernick: Dual Threat Has San Francisco 49ers Close to Super Bowl XLVII

Ryan PapasergeCorrespondent IJanuary 14, 2013

SAN FRANCISCO, CA - JANUARY 12:  Quarterback Colin Kaepernick #7 of the San Francisco 49ers runs the ball against nose tackle B.J. Raji #90 of the Green Bay Packers during the NFC Divisional Playoff Game at Candlestick Park on January 12, 2013 in San Francisco, California.  (Photo by Stephen Dunn/Getty Images)
Stephen Dunn/Getty Images

Colin Kaepernick's Twitter bio seems a bit atypical for the starting quarterback of the San Francisco 49ers: "Trying to be #1 in a world that accepts #2."

Then again, Kaepernick was "#2" on head coach Jim Harbaugh's depth chart heading into the 2012-13 season. And, as his sterling performance against the Green Bay Packers in an NFC Divisional Playoff Saturday, January 12 showed, he's anything but the run-of-the-mill NFL quarterback.

He's also two wins away from being a Super Bowl champion without a full season as a starter under his belt.

Kaepernick ran for an NFL quarterback-record 181 yards Saturday night. Only Eric Dickerson (248 yards), Lamar Smith (209) and Keith Lincoln (205) have run for more in a playoff game. They're running backs, in case you forgot.

His 56-yard score in the third quarter might be the defining play of the postseason thus far. Kaepernick dupes the Packer defense into thinking he's faking the handoff to running back LaMichael James, but he doesn't.

He runs untouched for a 49ers score instead. 

He could very well pull plays off like that in the Georgia Dome against the Atlanta Falcons Sunday afternoon. The Falcons were 21st in rushing defense this season, allowing around 123 yards per game.

Kaepernick isn't too bad with his arm, either. He went 17-for-31 with 263 yards and two touchdowns Saturday night. His one interception—returned 52 yards by Sam Shields for a Packers score in the first quarter—was the lone major blunder of the night.

The Falcons were 23rd in the league in passing defense this season, even though safety Thomas DeCoud and cornerback Asante Samuel combined for 11 interceptions.

Even Packers general manager Ted Thompson was stunned by Kaepernick's play.

"That was unbelievable," Thompson told Yahoo! Sports' Jason Cole after the game. "He did everything. I mean, I had read the press clippings and seen some of the highlights. But to watch what he did … oh my, that was special."

Cole's piece notes that 49ers offensive coordinator Greg Roman made heavy use of the pistol offense Saturday night, something they didn't do at the end of the regular season.

It's not like Kaepernick would really need the refresher—his coach at Nevada, Chris Ault (who retired at the end of this season) created the system. 

He might be able to sit back in his rocking chair and watch his most famous alum use his offense to take the 49ers to a Super Bowl XLVII victory.

That would be one heck of a retirement gift.


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