Colin Kaepernick's Win over Rams Important for Young QB's Confidence
That's a fancy way of saying don't overreact.
Kaepernick's performance in Thursday's 35-11 win over the St. Louis Rams certainly wasn't on the level of some of his 2012 showings or even what he did in Week 1 against the Green Bay Packers. But more importantly, it was a near 180 from the last two weeks—arguably the two worst of his career.
And that will go a long way in restoring—or helping keep intact—his confidence.
Therein lies the biggest takeaway.
The third-year QB didn't set any records or drop any jaws on Sunday night. He was 15-of-23 (65.2 percent) for 167 yards, two touchdowns and zero interceptions. He lost one fumble on a poor handoff to Frank Gore.
He simply managed the game—and did it very well.
There was some good mixed with bad. First the bad: Kaepernick missed some throws and had trouble consistently moving the ball down the field, as NFL.com's Gregg Rosenthal pointed out:
49ers had 11 drives of 12 yards or less. And won 35-11.— gregg rosenthal (@greggrosenthal) September 27, 2013
Against a Rams defense that entered the game giving up 8.5 yards per pass attempt (28th most in the NFL), it was a little underwhelming to see Kaepernick and the 49ers fail to put together more long drives.
Now the good.
On third downs, he was pretty much perfect, per ESPN's Mike Sando:
Total QBR on 3rd down tonight: Kaepernick 99.5, Bradford 2.1.— Mike Sando, ESPN.com (@SandoESPN) September 27, 2013
Overall, he was 7-of-10 for 98 yards and two scores. On one of those third-down completions, he stayed steady in the pocket and delivered an absolutely beautiful, perfectly placed throw to Anquan Boldin for 42 yards.
Take a look:
Overall, this was the exact type of performance Kaepernick needed. He was coming off two dreadful outings, and a third against St. Louis could have seriously sent him spiraling in the confidence department.
He didn't need to be transcendent. He just needed to show glimpses of what he's capable of. He just needed be good.
And that's exactly what he was.
Kaerpernick may not have have set the world on fire on Thursday night, but after a very solid performance and dominant team win, whatever confidence he might have lost was undoubtedly restored—and that's all that's important going forward.
Because as we've seen before, a confident Kaepernick can equal an unstoppable Kaepernick.
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