Colin Kaepernick found success against a bad secondary on Sunday, putting up big numbers in a situation where he absolutely should have put up big numbers. And that's absolutely perfect for him.
Kaepernick has fallen short of expectations multiple times this year, at times regressing into bad mechanics and bone-headed plays. People were openly questioning the San Francisco 49ers' decision to give him a massive contract because the mistakes he was making were at such a basic, fundamental level that it was particularly concerning.
What Kaepernick really needed to do was go out and get his business done on Sunday, and that's what he did. What he needed to do was make some good throws and beat a defense that every expert worth his or her salt would have suggested Kaepernick could easily demolish before the season got underway.
Going into Sunday, the Baltimore Ravens ranked No. 24 in the league in pass defense. Unfortunately for the 49ers, they boasted the league's No. 30 passing offense, ahead of only the Minnesota Vikings and Carolina Panthers. But that was while performing well below expectations. All he needed to do was what he did. Kaepernick completed 16 of 27 passes for 340 yards and a pair of touchdowns.
Against the New York Giants, Kaepernick completed 23 of 35 passes for 262 yards with two touchdowns and no interceptions. In his previous two games, he threw one and four interceptions, respectively. He had a decent game against the Pittsburgh Steelers in Week 2 and an inoffensive game against the Minnesota Vikings in Week 1.
When he was bad, he was really bad. Shockingly bad, astoundingly bad. We couldn't possibly exaggerate just how bad he was when he was bad. But he's looked more and more like an NFL quarterback and has the offense looking more and more like it actually belongs in a 49ers uniform, and that's what counts.
There will be those who root for losses for better draft picks and all manner of silliness, but what I want to personally see is some kind of reason to be excited going forward. Kaepernick is still at a stage where he can be one of the best quarterbacks in the league, or one of the worst. Whatever winds up happening, I think what happens over the course of what's left of this season will be incredibly telling.
It only gets harder from here. The 49ers have a short week and then tough games against the Seattle Seahawks, St. Louis Rams, Atlanta Falcons, and then the Seattle Seahawks again. They don't get a proper break until the Chicago Bears in December and really, the Cleveland Browns after that. There are far more opportunities for Kaepernick to fail than succeed in the coming weeks.
Let's hope the last two games are a sign that he'll be doing the latter.