Kaepernick has been a player in the headlines constantly throughout the 2016 NFL season. From the National Anthem protest to wearing the Fidel Castro t-shirt, Kaepernick's name has lived in the NFL headlines this season for all reasons unrelated to football. As Kaepernick has taken the media by storm with his protest and political views, he's quietly been playing real good quarterback for the 49ers. No ones paid attention to it because the 49ers are the second worst team in football and everyone's already wrote him off as a quarterback in this league, but he's beginning to prove everyone wrong. In 2013 Kaepernick was the next big thing in this league, his ability to run the ball along with having a cannon for an arm elevated the 49ers offense to the next level which got them to the Super Bowl the previous season. He was an absolute nightmare for defenses and led the 49ers back to the conference championship the following season. 2014 was his last season with Jim Harbaugh, the team lost a lot of it's talent around him, and he seemed to regress a bit as a player. That's when everything fell apart in the Kaepernick development, the quarterback guru head coach, Jim Harbaugh, left for Michigan, and he was replaced by a gym teacher. Obviously Kaepernick regressed under the Tomsula offense, he lost his job, the locker room, and seemed to have hit his NFL rock bottom...
2016 rolls around, Kaepernick is discussed in trade talks all summer, but ultimately remains a 49er. Then, the protest debacle begins. Kaepernick is being discussed on every sports media outlet in America for weeks, and is quietly getting healthy after a long offseason of surgeries. Protest debacle continues, although it dies down a lot. Blaine Gabbert continues to prove he was a first round draft bust, and Kaepernick finally gets his second shot at redemption in the league, feeling so many highs and lows in such a short tenure in the NFL.
Nobody has really talked about it, no one wants to give the man any credit, but Kaep is back, and it can't be ignored. Now I'll prove my argument comparing the stats from his 2013 season and his 2016 season. In 2013 Kaepernick averaged 200 yards per game passing, in 2016 Kaepernick is averaging 205 yards per game passing. In 2013 Kaepernick posted a passer rating of 91, in 2016 he's posted a passer rating of 87. In 2013 he had a total QBR of 65, in 2016 he's had a total QBR of 73. Having a 75 total QBR means you're a pro bowl caliber player, that means Kaepernick is playing a fraction below pro bowl caliber at the quarterback position, which is really hard to find in this league. He's also averaging 20 more rushing yards per game, along with having a lower interception percentage, and the same touchdown percentage as 2013. The numbers don't lie, the kid is back to balling out. Now, some people are going to continue to say he sucks simply because they don't like him, good thing I don't care for the opinions of ignorant people. If you can come at me with facts disputing him being a good NFL quarterback, I'd love to hear. Don't come at me with that he's 0-6 as a starter bullshit, the roster around him is absolute trash, he can't do everyone's job for them on the field. I'm happy to see that Kaep is back because he's an exciting player in this league to watch when he's balling out. Plus, him and Chip Kelly could potentially have a bright future together now if they can get some playmakers around him, and actually have an existing defense on the field. I swear the 49ers defense looks like a mannequin challenge, they're frozen, while the opposing offense is continually scoring. It's not all bad 49er fans, looks like Kaepernick could end up being the franchise quarterback you thought he was in 2013.