Colin Kaepernick entered the 2013 NFL season with the weight of the world on his shoulders. Starting the 2012 football season with a bang, it ended suddenly with an incredibly close loss to the eventual Super Bowl champion Ravens. One year late, Niner Nation had sky high expectations for him to be bigger and better. Not only were 49er fans expecting him to be a Super Bowl winning quarterback, but he needed to do so with flair. Besides, thats how we are accustomed to 49er quarterbacks to be.
When we get a taste of success, our expectations for continued success grow even larger. We want more of it, and we want it now. Kaepernick started off this year right where he left off. Slaying the hated Packers just like he did in last year's NFC divisional playoff game. But the rest of the year was up and down. The team struggled with injuries, particularly with Michael Crabtree out for a majority of the year. Even Vernon Davis sat out of a few games. The Niners started off 1-2 and there were two stretches this season where they lost consecutive games. Fans and sports talk shows wanted more out of Colin Kaepernick, they wanted him to be perfect. And it had all been magnified that our most fierce rival the Seahawks finished the year one game better in the standings. We needed to catch up.
We have all been so caught up this season with both how Kaepernick is preforming and besting our rivals that we've failed to realize that Kaepernick has given the 49ers their best QB production in over 10 years. The most telling stat being that his passer rating of 91.6 for the season has been the highest for a full-time 49ers quarterback since Jeff Garcia in 2001 where Garcia had a 94.8 QB rating.
Kaepernick won't be the NFL MVP this year and wasn't selected to the Pro Bowl. He may not have met every single expectation we all had for him. But he has brought the team back to the NFC Championship game to play the Seahawks. A game which figures to be similar to a boxing match on HBO. Teams who have been in the Super Bowl the previous year struggle the next year to make the playoffs, let alone to the NFC Championship game. Kaepernick has helped the team breakthrough that statistic. And we'll see after this Sunday if he has the ability to bring the team back to the Super Bowl. But whatever the outcome, he has not failed the expectations we have placed on him. If he has, we may have just missed the amazing year that Kaepernick has had.