Colin Kaepernick Destined for Super Bowl Glory This Sunday

Jonathan IrwinContributor IIFebruary 2, 2013

NEW ORLEANS, LA - JANUARY 30:  Quarterback Colin Kaepernick #7 of the San Francisco 49ers addresses the media during Super Bowl XLVII Media Availability at the New Orleans Marriott on January 30, 2013 in New Orleans, Louisiana. The 49ers will take on the Baltimore Ravens on February 3, 2013 at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome.  (Photo by Scott Halleran/Getty Images)
Scott Halleran/Getty Images

It's been quite a ride for young Colin Kaepernick, and—despite a looming brick wall—it's one that can only end in Super Bowl glory.

The 25-year-old quarterback drafted out of the University of Nevada in 2011, has had one of the greatest second seasons in the NFL of all time as far as quarterbacks are concerned.

Taking over in Week 11 after an Alex Smith concussion, Kaepernick won five of his first seven NFL starts before taking the Niners to the postseason.

Kap got even better in the playoffs.

He set a record against the Packers for most postseason rushing yards by a quarterback (181). One week later, his 233 passing yards would lead his team back from a 21-0 deficit against the Falcons.

And now, the San Francisco 49ers, led by Kaepernick, are playing in their first Super Bowl since 1994.

As far as history goes, it's on Kaepernick's side.

First off is the obvious fact that the 49ers' franchise is 5-0 in Super Bowl appearances. While many will point to Kap's inexperience as a fault, it hasn't hindered players in the past.

Kaepernick is the fourth quarterback to lead his team to the Super Bowl in the same season that he made his first NFL start.

The two most recent players to complete such a feat were Kurt Warner in 1999 with the Rams, and Tom Brady in 2001 with the Patriots.

Both players won their respective Super Sunday contests.

Another big selling point on Kaepernick's success is the fact that he's facing a tough Baltimore Ravens defense, led by some of the best to ever play the game.

While that's true, Kap has already dismantled the Chicago Bears and Green Bay Packers, both of whom have defenses as good as—if not better—than Baltimore's.

And Kap won't be doing it alone. He's surrounded by a star studded cast of support players.

Anchoring his backfield is running back Frank Gore, who has 204 yards rushing and three touchdowns this postseason.

The quarterback also gets plenty of help from his weapons, headlined by wide receiver Michael Crabtree and tight end Vernon Davis.

Crabtree has been Kap's main target all season long. When Kaepernick is behind center, Crabtree is averaging six catches and 86 yards per game.

And while Davis' disappearance in the regular season remains an enigma, he's come alive in the postseason averaging 25 yards per catch in the playoffs.

Kaepernick will have his hands full this weekend, but slowly and surely he's emerging as one of the best quarterback's in the league.

With great awareness, Kap is great at burning opposing defenses with his legs and agility.

But it's not like he can't throw as well. With an arm that once got him drafted as a pitcher by the Chicago Cubs, he's excellent at threading his throws with bullet speed.

Outside of RG3, Kaepernick was the best dual-threat quarterback in these playoffs.

The Ravens have handled these kinds of players before, holding their own against both Philadelphia and Washington in the regular season—and that was before they were healthy.

But neither team had quite the weapons San Francisco has. No matter what he has to do, Kap is going to find a way to overcome the defense and make big plays.

If you want to talk youth and nerves, how about the fact that one of San Francisco's first plays against the Packers was a pick-six in the NFC Divisional game.

Or, the fact that he led his team back from an early 17-0 deficit against the Falcons in the NFC Championship game?

No matter how you look at it, Kaepernick is going to do something big this Sunday.

History is on his side, he has the weapons—in his own game and the players surrounding him—and a poise that transcends what you'd expect of just a second-year player.

The Super Bowl is going to be Kaepernick's show, and one way or another, he's going to find a way to win the game.


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