Photo: Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images
Before Saturday night, Colin Kaepernick was almost statistically identical to Alex Smith.While he showed flashes of dynamism, the 49ers with Kaepernick in the regular season were a conservative, run-first team with a really good defence, just like they were with Smith.
But then Saturday night happened. Kaepernick didn’t just play great, he played differently than he did in the regular season. He stretched the field (throwing the ball deep seven times), ran a ton (a season-high 16 carries), and threw the ball more than he usually does (29 attempts in the first three quarters).
In short: For the first time, he was the risk-taking, dual-threat QB everyone said he’d be.
He was more Russell Wilson than Alex Smith, and that’s a terrible omen for the Falcons — who have struggled against dual-threat quarterbacks this year.
Here’s what has happened with Atlanta faced this type of QB:
- Cam Newton (Sept. 30): 14-25 for 215 and 2 TDs passing, 9 carries for 86 yards and 1 TD rushing
- *Robert Griffin III (Oct. 7): 10-15 for 91 yards, 1 carry for 7 yards rushing
- Mike Vick (Oct. 28): 21-35 for 191 yards and 1 TD, 7 carries for 42 yards rushing
- Cam Newton (Dec. 9): 23-35 for 287 yards and 2 TDs passing, 9 carries for 116 yards and 1 TD rushing
- Russell Wilson (yesterday): 24-36 for 385 yards and 2 TDs passing, 7 carries for 60 yards and 1 TD rushing
(*RGIII was hurt in that game and had to come out in the second half)
So with the exception of Vick and the Eagles, the Falcons have had trouble against quarterbacks who can both run the ball and throw the ball deep.
That’s exactly what Kaepernick did on Saturday night.
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