Colin Kaepernick’s methods may be questionable, but it’s tough to argue with the results.
The young quarterback embraced the Twitter hate and somewhat silenced his critics on Thursday night, leading the San Francisco 49ers to a 35-11 victory over the St. Louis Rams.
His numbers didn’t shine—178 total yards and two passing touchdowns isn’t helping his fantasy owners—but Kaepernick proved why he is one of the most talented quarterbacks in the league.
Now, with some positive momentum to build on, Kaepernick will lead the Niners above .500 when they face the Houston Texans in Week 5.
While the Texans boast a strong defense, they fell in Week 4 to a similar type of quarterback in Seattle's Russell Wilson. Like Kaepernick against the Rams, Wilson’s numbers weren’t great, and for the most part, Houston was able to corral the athletic QB.
However, Wilson started finding gaps in the Houston defense as time passed. He used his mobility and improvisational skills to create positive yardage on broken plays, and his ability to handle pressure led to an overtime victory for Seattle.
Kaepernick has those same qualities that make Wilson great, and although he likely won’t put up huge numbers, he will eventually wear down Houston like he did St. Louis.
Kaepernick was unimpressive early against the Rams, but as the game progressed so did his confidence. The 49ers scored five touchdowns in the last two-and-a-half quarters. Kaepernick started the scoring with a 20-yard touchdown pass to Anquan Boldin in the second, and four different Niners found the end zone over the final 31 minutes as S.F. buried the Rams.
When it was all over, Kaepernick and the 49ers reminded everyone why they are one of the most explosive teams in the league.
Kaepernick was downright awful in Weeks 2 and 3, and much of the criticism he received was deserved. However, people tend to forget that this is only his third season in the NFL.
Young quarterbacks are going to have bad games sometimes, and it’s foolish to immediately judge them for their struggles. What really matters is how they rebound from their poor performances. After overcoming a rough start on Thursday, Kaepernick showed that he is still capable of being a dominant NFL quarterback.
It won't be pretty, but look for him to prove his critics wrong again in Week 5.