San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick did ... not have a good game against the Chicago Bears. Kaepernick played well off and on, but ultimately he made bad decisions and multiple ... let's call them "unforced errors." It's true his protection broke down near the end of the game and that killed the chances of a comeback, but Kaepernick threw three interceptions and I'm struggling to explain them away in his defense.
Like the sack breakdown, I'm going to show you guys his interceptions and attempt to remain calm. Let's get started.
First off: this is a great, fantastic play by Chris Conte. He reads the play and he kicks it into high gear to get in front o that football for the diving interception. Watching live, I didn't think Kaepernick did much wrong. But when you get this behind angle, you can see that Kaepernick locked on to his receiver and didn't attempt to look off the safety at all. If you're standing in the defensive backfield, you are automatically aware of where that ball is going.
The receiver is between the two defenders nice, but that safety was very obvious at this point. Kaepernick really needs to take the insignificant amount of time it's going to take to check on that safety.
It was difficult to get a good shot of this play. I think you can attribute a lot of this to bad luck because Michael Crabtree has his hands on the ball, has the catch and then it basically slips into the cornerback's hands. That's unfortunate, but it also wasn't a great throw.
Kaepernick, who is not under pressure and has plenty of time, throws a ball on the wrong side of Crabtree's body. You can't quite see it,m but Crabtree has to spin around entirely and dive to attempt to make that catch. If Kaepernick, who again is not being harassed, puts that ball where it's supposed to go, then it's a huge gain and not an interception.
Here's the full play:
My first issue with this play: Kaepernick gets out of the pocket, probably to get a better angle on that throw. The problem: he gets intercepted by a guy who benefited from that angle. If Kaepernick throws that from the pocket -- a throw any quarterback should be expected to make -- it may not be an interception.
My second issue is that he holds onto it for far too long, and has great protection in the pocket. I decided to go a bit deeper on this one and show you the whole play. Below, I've got the All-22 angle showing his receiving options ... it's a bit rough, keep in mind Kaepernick throws the ball right around the 32 yard line if you can't tell in the gif.
Here's a wide angle showing his receiving options:
So we have great protection, some open guys and Kaepernick throws it too late after unnecessarily leaving the pocket. It's a bad throw, a bad decision and a bad play. But it's not all on Kaepernick. I actually feel like tight end Derek Carrier is partially to blame here.
Here's an angle showing Carrier breaking on his route:
Obviously, Carrier was trying to avoid that deep safety coming across the field, but I feel like he broke from his route too quickly. Of course, we go back to Kaepernick throwing the ball too late, which is why Carrier made it all the way to the sideline, bringing the other defender into the equation. Carrier streaking may have been a much better option for Kaepernick but I suppose we can just say it was a bad play altogether.