Since things are absolutely dead right now, I thought I'd roll out something new this year. We have a great community, and I enjoy the community interaction, so how about we try and crowd-source some predictions for 2013? I realize predictions in June and July are next to meaningless, but with some good and bad question marks heading into the season, I figured it would be fun to see what everybody thinks about potential regular season performances from various players on the team. I'll take the stats you provide and come up with the NN average. Please be as realistic as possible with your predictions.
We might as well start with quarterback Colin Kaepernick. The 49ers young QB enters his third year in the NFL and his first full season as starter. He had a dynamic 2012 season, taking over midway through, and opening a lot of eyes once he did. We knew he had great running skills, but his passing skills blew away a lot of people. In seven regular season games as a starter, Kap completed 120 of 192 passes (62.5%) for 1,608 yards, ten touchdowns and three interceptions. During that time as a starter, he also rushed for 236 yards and two rushing touchdowns. This does not include his little over one half of starting during the Rams game. In that stretch he was 11 of 17 for 117 yards, and rushed for 66 yards and a touchdown.
This is one of what I think are the "good" question marks. It is entirely possible that Kap could regress, but the upside on Kap is pretty hard to ignore. I would imagine that might sway a few people's predictions. At the same time, the 49ers do build from the rushing game out. Kap will get a chance to do some big things on his own, but I don't expect numbers that blow our minds quite like some might expect.
Just for the sake of argument, if we took his total 2013 numbers (including games he did not start) and doubled them, he would have 3,628 passing yards, 20 touchdowns, 6 interceptions, 830 rushing yards and 10 rushing touchdowns. Doubling the numbers wouldn't work anyway, but it is even more so for the rushing numbers, since he was already coming in a fair amount for QB scrambles in some of the games he did not start.
For the sake of this exercise, I'll go with a prediction of 284 of 436 (65%) for 3,450 yards, 22 touchdowns and 8 interceptions. I'll add in 525 rushing yards and six rushing touchdowns. This could very well be a conservative estimate. Alex Smith's career high in attempts was 445 in 2011. Obviously Kap is not Smith, and the 49ers might be more inclined to let loose a bit more.
That being said, I still think the 49ers ground game gets the chance to dominate for this offense, which could cut down on Kap's opportunities for even bigger numbers. Of course, I'd imagine some folks see him absolutely way-laying the NFL this year.
Given that Kap only has seven regular season starts, and ten total starts, under his belt, this is quite the guessing game. Does anybody have a particularly fool-proof prediction? Am I being too cautious? The more predictions the better!