Kaepernick No. 81 In NFL's Top 100
By Peter Fournier
Is Colin Kaepernick one of the 100 best players in the NFL? Yes, but he doesn’t deserve to be any higher than No. 81.
The things that the San Francisco 49ers quarterback has accomplished in just seven regular season and three postseason starts are incredible, but it’s just that — a great a start. Kaepernick has the potential to be one of the greatest quarterbacks in NFL history, if he keeps progressing.
The statistics and plays Kaepernick made down the stretch were legendary. From his 53-yard touchdown run in the final minutes against the Dolphins in the regular season to his record-setting, rushing performance in the divisional playoffs against the Packers. He has stepped up when most would have either witherd or collapsed.
Speaking of the postseason joust with the Packers, Kaepernick’s first pass was intercepted and returned for a touchdown. Many people thought that was it. Stick a fork in Kap. He couldn’t handle the postseason pressure, but he rebounded to lead the 49ers to a crushing victory over Green Bay.
In the NFC championship game, Kaepernick led the 49ers from a 17-0 deficit to a 28-24 victory and a trip to the Super Bowl. San Francisco didn’t even appear it would be in the game going into halftime, until Kaepernick led two 80-yard drives to whittle the deficit to just three points at halftime. That made the game manageable from there.
The biggest comeuppance was on the largest stage: the Super Bowl. With the 49ers down three touchdowns just minutes into the third quarter, Kaepernick ('perhaps' with some help from a freak power outage) brought San Francisco within just two points of Baltimore, but it’s as close as he could get them. Even Kaepernick, glorified by fans, couldn’t be their savior for a third straight game.
In each playoff game, San Francisco dug themselves a hole, and Kaepernick got them out of almost every single one. He stepped up in the postseason, where legends are made, and that makes him one of the best in the game right now.
Can he keep it up? It sure seems like it. It wouldn’t be wise to bet against him, but it doesn’t make sense to tote him any higher on the pole of greatness than he is right now. He’s earned that much.