At the end of last season, quarterbacks Russell Wilson and Colin Kaepernick had impressed the masses and finished the year as two of the best signal-callers in the game. Wilson led the Seahawks to an 11-5 record, threw for 3,118 yards, scored 26 touchdowns through the air and registered a playoff victory.
Kaepernick fared even better than Wilson.
According to the analysts at Pro Football Focus (subscription required), Kaepernick concluded the regular season as the 12th-best-passing quarterback in the league. Additionally, he guided the 49ers to two playoff wins and a Super Bowl appearance.
Sure, some may say that being the 12th-best quarterback in the league is far from impressive, yet let’s remember that he only made seven regular-season starts.
However, things have flip-flopped for the quarterbacks in 2013. Through 12 games, Kaepernick has regressed mightily, and Wilson is closing in on Peyton Manning as the NFL’s best quarterback.
49ers' defensive coordinator Vic Fangio even believes Wilson is one of the NFL's top quarterbacks. Here's what he told Cam Inman of the San Jose Mercury News:
They've got a quarterback who's in the conversation of one of the top quarterbacks in the league right now.
Everybody thinks this guy is a freak quarterback. This guy is just a really good quarterback who happens to be very fast, very quick and very elusive. He's not just a guy that runs around. He's a passer. He can run any offense.
As it stands right now, Wilson is not only regarded as the league’s most efficient deep-passing quarterback, but he is also viewed as the most effective quarterback in terms of successful play-action passes, both according to PFF.
In Kaepernick’s defense, his wide receiving corps outside of Anquan Boldin has failed him more often than not in the absence of Michael Crabtree. Jon Baldwin, Mario Manningham and Quinton Patton have combined for 111 yards on 12 receptions.
Nonetheless, Kaepernick has to do a better job of elevating the players around him.