The story in San Francisco is still on what goes on in Jim Harbaugh’s head when selecting quarterbacks to start games.
“Both deserve it,” Harbaugh said in a Wednesday press conference. “Alex over a long period of time, Colin by virtue of the last two games. What tips the scales is Colin we believe has the hot hand, and we’ll go with Colin… And we’ll go with Alex. Both are our guys.”
Whether it was Colin or Alex behind center, neither one of them could get the deal done when the Rams came to San Francisco back in week 10. Eventually the contest ended in the first tie game in nearly four years in the NFL finishing at 24-24 as the Rams showed they can play with the 49ers and almost beat them a couple of times. The 49ers (8-2-1) this time come into St. Louis to face the Rams (4-6-1) on their 2nd straight road game before going back to San Francisco
Despite it being a familiar opponent, things might be different this time around. Colin Kaepernick will make his third straight start this season, including his first start against the Rams. Kaepernick came into that week 10 game vs. the Rams after Alex Smith sustained a concussion in the 1st half. Kaepernick has been under center for the 49ers ever since.
In his two starts at QB this season, Kaepernick has thrown a 66.7 completion percentage along with 474 passing yards, 3 passing TDs, and a rushing TD. This season, Colin is averaging 9.2 yards per pass attempt compared to Alex Smith’s 8. Despite his lack of experience, Kaepernick’s showing that he can play quarterback in this league and has put the time in for it.
“It doesn’t matter who we’re playing, he’ll be on it,” 49ers RG Alex Boone said about Kaepernick. “He does a great job in preparation. The Saints game – he was on it. I was proud of him for that, so just excited to see what he does this week.”
The 49ers offense, however, needs to be more concerned about a couple of other positions that sustained injuries and calls for replacements. During the win in New Orleans last Sunday, both RB Kendall Hunter and WR Kyle Williams were injured on the same play in 2nd half. They have both been put in Injured Reserve and are done for the remainder of the season.
While both players are back ups in their main positions, they are still considered important to the team. Frank Gore does account for about half of San Francisco’s rushing game (NFL Ranked 2nd) but with Kendall Hunter taking in a significant amount of the remainder. Hunter accounted for 371 rushing yards averaging 5.2 yards per carry (same as Gore’s) and has 2 rushing TDs.
Meanwhile, Kyle Williams had mainly become the kick returner for the team but also had a role in the passing game. Williams had 14 catches for 212 yards and 1 TD catch. He more recently caught a 57 yard reception in the win over the Bears in week 11 that help set up Colin Kaepernick’s first career NFL TD pass.
“That was a major hit,” 49ers RB Anthony Dixon said about the injuries. “Kyle and Kendall, they’re both go-to guys in our offense, they made a lot of plays for us this year. To see that go down on one play, it’s like, ‘Man, that’s crazy.’
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Written by Daniel Trucios