This past Saturday, second-year quarterback Colin Kaepernick had his 8th career start. He took over in Week 11 versus the Chicago Bears and has not missed a start since. And the reason for that is because he's been extremely impressive.
The Niners have gone 6-2 under his command, outscoring the likes of Drew Brees, Tom Brady and Aaron Rodgers in that time. At this point, no one is arguing that Kaepernick is San Francisco's quarterback of the future.
He has shown a great deal of promise going forward, as his development and productivity at this stage has been off the charts. What he has been doing from the QB position is revolutionary. There have been dual-threat passers before, but not ones as well equipped as Kaepernick.
He also has the advantages of a stacked roster and superb coaching staff. This offensive line in particular is going to allow him to optimize his skill set.
Out of mere curiosity, I went ahead and doubled Kaepernick's statistics from his first eight starts to project numbers for a 16-game season.
Colin Kaepernick: 2013 Projections
|PASSING||3,742 yards||Avg.: 233.8 per game|
|RUSHING||838 yards||Avg.: 52.3 per game|
|SCORING||34 total TDs||Avg.: 2.1 per game|
|TOTAL||4,580 yards||24 passing, 10 rushing TDs|
Of course, these stats are just rough projections that do not take into account tangible and intangible variables affecting change. It's fair to say that Kaepernick still had the training wheels on at times during the regular season. And looking forward, his development, surrounding cast and manner of utilization are just a few unpredictable factors.
But what is interesting about the numbers above are the total yards and scores. When you get past the averages, and everything else, that's Kaepernick's total output. Most NFL quarterbacks -- even the really good ones -- don't hit marks like this. And on a side note, I think Kaepernick is capable or surpassing these projections, but I digress.
This year, just six quarterbacks in the league threw for more than 4,500 yards -- all of whom are field generals that operate primarily out of the pocket. Only Drew Brees, Matthew Stafford, Tony Romo, Tom Brady, Matt Ryan and Peyton Manning broke or were nearing 5k.
And of those six, only three had more than the projected 34 touchdowns that Kaepernick would have. While these are all hypotheticals, they are interesting nonetheless.