Hopefully many of you enjoyed my previous piece detailing the best quarterback in the NFC West. Now, I shift my focus to Colin Kaepernick and his much anticipated 2013 appearance.
We all know how Colin Kaepernick burst on the national spotlight with a marvelous performance against the stout Chicago Bears on Monday Night Football back in November.
How can we forget?
Funny enough, Kaepernick was more dazzling as a thrower than a runner. In fact, the former University of Nevada product only ran for 10 yards on that faithful night.
It would be remiss of me if I didn't mention the absence of Bears starting quarterback, Jay Cutler. However, that night was more about Kaepernick's arrival than whoever lined up as quarterback for the Bears.
Just in case many forgot, it was former Redskins quarterback, Jason Campbell.
After that 32-7 thrashing by the 49ers, a quarterback controversy brewed: Alex Smith vs. Colin Kaepernick. It invited national debate among analysts and fans alike.
Many Niners fans were aware of Kaepernick as a developmental project at the quarterback position, but his sudden flashes in that Bears game opened up the possibilities of the future becoming the present.
After several media sessions where Harbaugh was spitting out political responses, fans finally got their answer.
Colin Kaepernick was named the starter for the remainder of the season. However, the journey only became harder as expectations rose with Kaepernick under center.
Not only did Kaepernick answer those expectations, he exceed them.
A spectacular performance against Aaron Rodgers and the Green Bay Packers in the first round paled in comparison to the composure he showed when coming back to defeat the upstart Atlanta Falcons in the NFC Championship game.
Yes, the season was capped off with a disappointing Super Bowl loss, but for a second-year quarterback who only started 10 games to lead his team to a Super Bowl, can we really expect any more?
Now, like last season, Kaepernick will have high expectations to not only lead his team to a Super Bowl, but to also come away with a victory.
But why stop there? Kaepernick has the skill set, likeability factor and surrounding talent to be a legitimate MVP candidate in 2013.
Here is the blueprint for Kaepernick to be crowned MVP in 2013:
Just win, baby!
This is an obvious factor, but one that has been pretty consistent over the last few years. The last six MVPs––five of which are quarterbacks—have averaged 13.5 wins for their respective teams.
Its safe to say the 49ers will be one of the top teams in the NFC.
However, no matter how good Kaepernick is individually in 2013, history has shown winning has been the common denominator.
Complete Body of Work
Colin Kaepernick is still developing as a passer. Can he make all the throws? Absolutely, but a true MVP is a consistent threat with his arm.
Kaepernick is nearly their, but he has a few flaws and kinks to work out before reaching his full potential. So, Kaepernick will have to dazzle with both his arms and legs to win this award.
If Kaepernick can throw for nearly 3,500 yards, while also running for nearly a 1,000 yards, he should be in the running for the award. Of course, this is in combination with winning and this third factor...
Peterson rushing for 2,000 yards also had a lot do with that, but Peyton Manning's 2012 season wasn't anything we should disregard.
Kaepernick has to stand out in some fashion or another. Whether it's a spectacular game against a divisional rival or a highlight level type of play, one thing's for certain: Kaepernick has to separate himself from the crowd.