49ers Colin Kaepernick still a work in progress

Given his meteoric rise to the Super Bowl and stardom, it’s easy to forget how green Colin Kaepernick really is.

His week 4 start against the St. Louis Rams marked only the 14th of his career. Like any young quarterback, Kaepernick has hit some bumps along the road as NFL defenses begin to adjust to more of what they have seen of him on film. The difference between Kaepernick and other young signal callers is that the bar has been set so high so early, slumps are magnified and overreacted to.

Kaepernick played better in Week 4, throwing two touchdown passes and had his first game without an interception since Week 1. He still left some plays on the field but, like any young player, his development is a process and mistakes and missed reads will happen. Unfortunatelty, the temperature will continue to be taken week in and week out despite an overall excellent body of work so far.

All quarterbacks, no matter how great they may end up being, have to start somewhere. Some have better teams around them than others and therefore may have quicker success. Kaepernick has been blessed with a great supporting cast and his numbers and the team’s success has reflected that. Here is a look at how Kaepernick compares to some of the game’s best quarterbacks through the first 14 starts of their careers.

Colin Kaepernick (including playoffs)

Completions: 237

Attempts: 389

Completion percentage: 60.9 percent

Passing yards: 3264

Passing touchdowns: 19

Interceptions: 9

Team record: 9-5

Peyton Manning

Completions: 286

Attempts: 502

Completion percentage: 56.9 percent

Passing yards: 3179

Passing touchdowns: 24

Interceptions: 25

Team record: 3-11

Drew Brees

Completions: 267

Attempts: 437

Completion percentage: 61 percent

Passing yards: 2710

Passing touchdowns: 12

Interceptions: 15

Team record: 8-6

Aaron Rodgers

Completions: 296

Attempts: 466

Completion percentage: 63.5 percent

Passing yards: 3470

Passing touchdowns: 23

Interceptions: 12

Team record: 5-9

Tom Brady

Completions: 264

Attempts: 413

Completion percentage: 63.9

Passing yards: 2843

Passing touchdowns: 18

Interceptions: 12

Team record: 11-3

When comparing Kaepernick’s start with that of Manning, Brees, Rodgers, and Brady (four future Hall of Famers), the Niner’s quarterback holds up well. He’s lead his team to the second best record and has the second most yards passing out of that group. He has ten more touchdowns passes than interceptions which was only bested by Rodgers. He also has the most rushing touchdowns with five. 

Comparing Kaepernick to these quarterbacks is in no way saying he will end up being a Hall of Fame player and Super Bowl winner as the other four are. What the comparison does do is show that Kaepernick, despite ups and downs, is holding his own. His maturation is and will continue to be a work in progress.

Photo credit: Getty Images

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Al Sacco

Al Sacco is sports expert who knows football, baseball, basketball and hockey. He has spent his time as a sports journalist covering the San Francisco 49ers as a contributor to 49erswebzone.com and Ninerfans.com. He's been a guest on numerous podcasts and has had his work used on ESPN NFL Insiders and USA TODAY.


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