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Colin Kaepernick is at his best when the game is on the line

Statistically and passing the eye-test, Colin Kaepernick is at his best when the game hangs in the balance.

Jared Wickerham

We've all seen it first-hand in the five starts for 49ers QB Colin Kaepernick. He's pretty clutch when things are hectic, when it's late in the game and/or the score is close. Whether it's a 50 yard run for a touchdown (or stopped-short but staying in bounds), or identifying Cover-0 and throwing the ball to his best after-the-catch wide receiver. He's made plays when they were needed in just a short time on the job.

Well, it appears that our eyes haven't deceived us. According to ESPN Stats and Info, Kaepernick is literally "at his best" when the game is on the line. Check out these statistics from the last paragraph of the linked article (which also opens up another discussion on who's the best QB in the NFC West).

  • [Kaepernick] leads all qualified quarterbacks with a fourth quarter Total QBR of 95.8
  • When the score is within three points, Kaepernick leads the league with a 74.5 completion percentage and 10.5 yards per attempt (minimum 50 attempts)
You need a guy who can be consistently clutch, calm when things are tight, who can lead you to a come-back if necessary. So far it appears that Kap is capable of those things, granted it's a small-ish sample size. Personally though, I hope playing at his best when the game is close only involves the first quarter, if you know what I mean.