[credit provider=”Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images”]
The 49ers lost to the Seahawks 42-13 last night.
There are several reasons to not read too much into this one:
- San Francisco was coming off a draining Monday night win against the Patriots in New England six days earlier
- Seattle had more to play for from a playoff point of view
- This meant more to Seattle in general — a rare national TV audience, at home, at night
But still, the game was further proof that the 49ers are basically the same team with Colin Kaepernick at QB than they were with Alex Smith as QB.
The fatal flaw in San Francisco’s team under Smith was that they couldn’t make enough big plays to dig out of an early deficit. They were toast if they went down 17-3, and they brought in Kaepernick in hopes that he could make the offence more dynamic.
Kaepernick has been successful, but as we wrote last week, he’s been successful doing pretty much the same things that Smith did — handing off the ball to Frank Gore and making short passes.
He still hasn’t led the 49ers back from a deficit in the fourth quarter, and after last night his per-game stats look more Smith-ian than they ever have. Here are their average stats as starters (excluding the Rams game where Smith got concussed and Kaepernick came in):
- Kaepernick (4-2 record): 17.3/27.3, 222 yards, 1.6 total TDs, 8.1 yards per attempt
- Smith (6-2 record): 18.1/26.1, 207 yards, 1.5 total TDs, 7.9 yards per attempt
San Francisco is also running the ball just as much as they were under Smith.They benched Smith and started Kaepernick so they had a fighting chance if they went down 21-0 like they did last night. Obviously one game can’t tell you everything about a player, but we’re still waiting for evidence that Kaepernick is fundamentally different than the guy he replaced.