Why Colin Kaepernick Will Finish Taking NFL by Storm by Winning Super Bowl MVP

Dan TalintyreSenior Analyst IIJanuary 22, 2013

Why Colin Kaepernick Will Finish Taking NFL by Storm by Winning Super Bowl MVP

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    San Francisco quarterback Colin Kaepernick just achieved what many deemed to be undoable—he led the 49ers all the way to Super Bowl XLVI.

    In just his second season and several weeks after replacing Alex Smith as the team's quarterback, Kaepernick led the Niners back from a 17-0 first-half deficit to post an incredible win over the Atlanta Falcons and book his spot in the biggest game of the season.

    The way in which he has taken the NFL by storm is not a dismissal of the Tim Tebow phenomenon of last year, the only difference being that Kaepernick is still alive and kicking, and has his team just one win away from championship glory.

    And unlike Tebow, he'll finish taking the league by storm—winning the Super Bowl and picking up the Most Valuable Player award in the process.

    Not convinced yet? Read on to see why Kaepernick is a lock for the MVP trophy and a championship ring in two weeks' time.

1. His Dynamic Dual-Threat Ability

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    We might as well start off here with the biggest reason of them all—Colin Kaepernick is one of the best dual-threat quarterbacks running around in the league today.

    He makes it so hard for defenses to read whether he's throwing or running the ball, or whether he's simply handing the ball off to Frank Gore to power up the field. 

    All three have the potential to be devastating options for the 49ers when used correctly, so it's incredible tough for defenses to predict exactly what the quarterback is going to do.

    Through the playoffs so far, the second-year man has the Niners averaging a staggering 36.5 points per game and leading the league in total offense—something that few normally associate with a defensively-minded team like San Francisco.

    He has chalked up 700 yards and five touchdowns in just two games, and will no doubt add to that total with a strong Super Bowl performance against the Baltimore Ravens.

    A team who, having struggled defensively all season, will be hard-pressed to contain the dual-threat ability of the San Francisco quarterback.

2. Growing in Confidence Every Week

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    Having taken over the starting position from Alex Smith, Kaepernick has always faced his fair share of criticism and questioning as to whether he was the right man to lead the 49ers.

    Yet through his two playoff appearances, the 25-year-old has proven himself to be able to mix it with the best in the league such as Aaron Rodgers' Packers and the No. 1 seed Atlanta Falcons.

    Both of those playoff victories will no doubt have given him a mountain of confidence moving forward into Super Bowl Sunday this year.

    In the NFC Divisional Round, Kaepernick went toe-to-toe with the reigning MVP and one of the greatest offensive quarterbacks of the modern era, and he won decisively.

    Despite throwing a pick-six on the Niners' opening drive, Kaepernick kept his calm and led San Francisco back into the match, and then well past the Packers' dominant offense. They would finish with 45 points for the game and 579 total offensive yards in one of the most clinical performances seen this season.

    Kaepernick would then grow in confidence even further last week against the Atlanta Falcons, when he led the Niners back from a 17-0 deficit and into Super Bowl XLVII.

    His confidence and self-belief is at an all-time high moving into the toughest game of the season, where he'll no doubt prove himself to be more than ready for the challenge.

3. Incredible O-Line in Front of Him

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    Part of the reason behind Kaepernick's offensive brilliance is his own individual skill, but credit needs to also be given to the incredible offensive line that San Francisco have going in front of him.

    Their ability to establish good rushing lanes and provide him ample time in the pocket has been a key reason behind Kaepernick's success so far, and they will continue to do so again in the Super Bowl.

    Pro Football Focus outlines just how good the 49ers' offensive line has been this season, ranking them 10th in pass blocking, a distant first in run blocking and the best overall in the NFL.

    All of which is quite remarkable from what was always considered to be a defensive-first team.

    Alex Boone and Mike Iupati both rank inside the top five for guard efficiency across the league this season;Jonathan Goodwin ranks inside the top 10 for centers; Joe Staley is considered the best tackle in the game; and Anthony Davis comes in at No. 11 on that list also.

    Simply put, there are no holes in this offensive line. They've allowed just three sacks and eight quarterback hits in their last five games this year—thus it's little wonder that Kaepernick is able to be as effective as he has been so far.

4. Re-Emergence of Offensive Weapons

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    As mentioned before, San Francisco currently ranks first in the NFL for postseason offense, so it's little surprise to see the re-emergence of several offensive weapons again for the Niners.

    While Kaepernick has been responsible for the outbreak of several players this year, we must also note the significance that their outbreak has had on the quarterback himself. That might not make much sense, but essentially, it's like asking which came first—the chicken or the egg?

    Which came first—the players in San Fran's offense getting better or Kaepernick playing well? The two are inextricably mixed in with the other, creating an affinity that has nearly been unstoppable on the field. 

    Frank Gore and LaMichael James have totaled four touchdowns and over 250 yards between them in their two playoff games so far, and Michael Crabtree has 176 yards and two touchdowns as well.

    Vernon Davis has re-emerged as a top receiving tight end with 150 yards and a touchdown, whilst Randy Moss has produced as well.

    They might not seem like much individually, but collectively they provide Kaepernick with a great arsenal at his disposal, and one that will definitely help him play very, very well.

    At least that's been the case so far in 2013.

5. Jim Harbaugh Believes in Him

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    Don't ever underestimate the importance of having a coach that believes in you—especially when you're a quarterback facing a lot of criticism from every direction.

    The man he'll play against in the Super Bowl is a great example of that, for without John Harbaugh's continued faith, Joe Flacco simply would not be the elite quarterback that he is today.

    Flacco would simply have succumb in one way or another to the haters and critics of his inconsistency.

    We can only wonder if the same would have happened had Jim Harbaugh not been such a staunch defender and believer in Kaepernick's ability. From the moment he selected him in the draft to the moment he choose him over proven performer Alex Smith, Harbaugh's belief has always been in the dual-threat ability of Kaepernick, and the results have flown in because of it (via profootballtalk.nbcports.com)

    So with Kaepernick heading into the biggest game of his short career, having a coach and a franchise that believes in you is more useful than anything else.

    We've seen it in Flacco all these years and we're seeing it in Kaepernick as well, the only difference being that the second-year quarterback simply has more talent and ability than the Ravens quarterback, and will prove so again in the Super Bowl.

6. The 49ers Live or Die by His Success

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    Yet all of those reasons account for very little if not for one thing: the San Francisco 49ers live or die by the success of Colin Kaepernick and his dual-threat ability.

    It is he that makes the call, and it is he that reads what the defense is presenting and tries to move the chains down the field and convert that into points on the board.

    The fact that the Niners are his team right now means that when they clinch Super Bowl XLVII, it will be pretty much entirely down to the success of Colin Kaepernick.

    If he fails, they fail. But if he succeeds—which he looks like doing on Super Bowl Sunday—then the 49ers will succeed as a result and the spotlight will be on him.

    San Francisco's victory in Super Bowl XLVII will be credited to Kaepernick, from the beginning of the playoffs to the moment the final snap has taken place.

    He is their heart and soul, he is their drive and offensive strength.

    And it will be he that is crowned as the most valuable player—a reward that has never seemed as fitting as it does now.


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