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At his Monday presser, Jim Harbaugh said he will start Colin Kaepernick next Sunday. That ended that QB controversy. I agree with him. Kaepernick should start. Lots of readers of this and other blogs reacted with panic and condemnation to the Niners’ loss blaming it on Kaepernick. That’s an over-reaction. Fans should be patient and let this thing play out.

I will be on Comcast today at 5 pm discussing Niners QBs and other relevant topics.

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18 Comments

  1. Dennis

    “That’s an over-reaction” said the pot to the kettle. That’s kind of like you talking about Alex Smith, wouldn’t you say?

    No question Alex Smith does not lose that game. But hey, you are right, it is not Kaepernick’s fault. It is Harbaugh’s fault for thinking Kaepernick could go out there and win.

    December 3rd, 2012 2:17 pm

  2. AngusinCanada

    Lowell,
    I don’t think the controversy has ended with Harbaugh’s statement that Kaepernick will start next week. Were you being facetious?
    I think it will be settled if Kaep puts together a couple of nice games in a row here, against Miami and New England (It’ll really never be settled with some people, but forget that for a moment).

    Having Kaep start this week was never in question. To go back to Smith at the first sign of trouble would be disaster for Harbaugh. Waffling, uncertain, unsure, afraid…. I think he made a questionable move benching Smith, but he’s made the decision, it has to play out. However, if he continues to struggle and a playoff spot becomes jeopardized…..yikes. I’d think he goes back to Smith in that scenario. He’d have to, or change his name to Hubris.

    December 3rd, 2012 2:22 pm

  3. dharte

    Lowell,

    It’s not panic to point out that his new QB has three games of experience in the last weeks of a drive for a championship.

    Again, this sort of gamble has never been successful in the history of the league. And I loved hearing the guys on radio this morning explaining how Colin Kaepernick “didn’t actually give away those 8 points” because the ref made a bad call on the safety and Greg Roman should be fired for the pitch.

    These of course are the same people who think Alex Smith lost the NFC Championship game, though his team was leading before the two fumbles at the end….

    At this point Harbaugh has really boxed himself in. He must play Kaepernick, who will almost certainly beat Miami (a team even worse than the Rams) to justify the decision, before making a quick exit on the road in a January playoff game.

    So here’s what I’d ask you. If this team does do worse this year than last, will you please be one of the few with enough guts to grill Harbaugh on the gamble, especially how it made sense when his two best players–Justin Smith & Frank Gore–are old by NFL standards and need to win now?

    Forget Alex Smith for the time being: I’m curious what Harbaugh was thinking in terms of maximizing the skills and “windows” of his best players. If the goal was an NFL title shot riding the talents of those two players, a rookie under center was just a bizarre bet. A stupid bet, judging by NFL history.

    One other thing: I noticed that your son ranked Kaepernick and Griffin ahead of Andrew Luck and Cam Newton. Do you think that any coach or GM in the league, aside from Harbaugh and maybe Trent Baalke, would actually trade Andrew Luck for Colin Kaepernick straight up?

    December 3rd, 2012 2:32 pm

  4. Neal

    Lowell,

    What is your take on Sabean not signing Brian Wilson and now the Dodgers are not interested either, too much risk. Glad they pick up Pagan, contract is reasonable.

    December 3rd, 2012 2:44 pm

  5. B-Rad

    There is a lot of blame to go around other than Kap’s poor lateral back to Ginn
    on the Ram’s TD. Why didn’t Ginn fall on it rather than try to pick it up and run?
    Why was that play called with the Niners up 10-2 with 3:11 left in the game and
    on the Niner’s 17 yard line on 3rd down? Why not a safer play?
    Walker wasn’t able to hang onto a TD pass that he’d catch
    80% of the time. Something is wrong with Akers which is affecting his kicking.
    The refs didn’t know the rule about intentional grounding and the line of scrimmage
    extending out of bounds. The Niner’s staff didn’t know that rule either or they would
    have challenged, and negated the safety.

    I think that we’re lucky that Fisher held CB Janoris Jenkins and a starting WR out of
    the first game at Candlestick for disciplinary reasons or we would have lost that
    game too. (This was the 3rd defensive TD Jenkins has scored in the past 2 games).

    December 3rd, 2012 2:49 pm

  6. Stan

    This is how I analyze it Lowell and I think I hit the nail on the old head. If you go with CK,its to stretch the field and get the ball to Randy Moss and VD,even Crabman. But,if your going to do conservative play calling with CK-whats the point? That is without a doubt Alex Smiths strong point.

    I expected to see long passes in the pocket or the run. I didn’t seen any called at all.
    So why call a Alex game with CK?

    December 3rd, 2012 2:56 pm

  7. Randy

    So Mark Purdy is over-reacting? Did you see his column today? Let it play out — ok, if the 49ers do not get past the first round of the playoffs will all the columnists who pushed for Kap admit they were wrong? I think Kap is going to be a helluva QB one day, but to insert him in with six games left makes no sense to me. Why do we have to be patience when we had a QB that took us to the NFC Championship and was one fumble away from going to the Super Bowl. Kap has a great upside, but will he reach his full potential in six or seven games. You saw yesterday what a team can do when they have some film on him. The question is — will he reach his upside quickly enough to overshadow his lack of experience. Yesterday, that did not happen.

    December 3rd, 2012 3:03 pm

  8. Mark M

    the most unusual part of this game was seeing Fisher and Co. out coaching Harbaugh and Co. The Rams looked like they were in our huddle. Haven’t seen that much these past two years.

    Kaep played well but had a couple of untimely mistakes. It’s part of the process for him. He’s going to make mistakes and we’re going to have to bear with it to reap the reward if it is to come this year.

    I love how the sad Alex fans are making this a Super Bowl victory or bust season now that we’ve changed away from their QB. Kaep is so superior in every way it’s scary to think how long we tolerated Alex.

    December 3rd, 2012 3:43 pm

  9. larry

    I’m telling you…they don’t want AS hurt this year so they can trade him next year and save some money. This is a big bet but CK has been in the plans of JH since he drafted him. Their is no other excuse for this insanity. If AS were to get hurt this year ( like a shoulder injury ) he would be worth a lot less for trade over the off season. So why not take a chance on CK this year. If JH pulls it off people will think he is a.genius. if CK gets hurt put AS in. I think the whole thing stinks. Im just sick of hearing how bad AS is !!! I think this week will tell for sure with Seattle nipping at our heals…

    December 3rd, 2012 4:31 pm

  10. mark decker

    colin was 8 of 19 on third down….twice backed up deep in territory….if alex is in there…even if just we go on his season average…the rams have the ball with great field position at least 2 or 3 times and score alot more points than they did….case closed…harbaugh knows colin gives them best chance to win…thats why he made the move…we trust all his other personel moves dont understand why fans are so idiotic with this one

    December 3rd, 2012 4:59 pm

  11. Sammy D.

    A few things I noticed and a few questions…

    1. There were several plays that CK made that AS could never make in his dreams(not just the long run but several throws to the WR’s). I suspect that is why Harbaugh is sticking with him.

    2. The lateral play that was turned into 6 points by the Rams was about as boneheaded a play as I have ever seen. For both the QB who executed it and the coaches who either called it, or allowed it to be called.

    3. What’s the deal with all of the penalties? Forgetting a few questionable calls against both teams, it seems like the niners were determined to self-destruct with penalties. I think this would have had a greater impact on victory than any so-called QB controversy. Is this coaching or did the Rams really get under their skin?

    4. I hate to nitpick on the defense as they managed to only allow a few points in this game, but what happened to the takeaways? Was last year’s # of takaways a fluke? Has the rest of the league learned how to gameplan the Defense to take what the Niners give them and not give up the turnover? Where is Carlos Rogers?

    5. Intersting blog, and many great comments by the posters here.

    December 3rd, 2012 5:02 pm

  12. Loneraider78

    That’s a real shocker.

    December 3rd, 2012 5:29 pm

  13. Johnc

    This game was a team loss. Eleven penalties, poor play calling, a droped td by Walker…it all added up. Kap made a mistake but the whole team stunk. If Smith had started it would have been worse.

    December 3rd, 2012 7:10 pm

  14. dharte

    @Johnc

    “If Smith had started it would have been worse.”

    You must be joking. 13-3 last year, John. You must have been away.

    December 3rd, 2012 8:05 pm

  15. Johnc

    @dharte
    Yeah the defense carried them last year. Smith had one great game vs. the Saints and then stunk the next week vs the Giants. How was he in the red zone most of last year?

    December 4th, 2012 12:38 am

  16. Alex

    I agree with Lowell here.

    Colin’s biggest mistakes are game management mistakes. Not related to quality of play as a passer, and running QB.

    Stay in bounds, don’t even make that pitch, just take the sack, etc. These can easily be learned. You can’t learn the intangibles he has.

    December 4th, 2012 11:06 am

  17. Dave T

    Lowell,

    Hypotheticly, if the Niners don’t fumble those two balls in the NFC Championship and go to and even win the Super Bowl (which would have potentially tied AR for SB wins) are we even having this conversation? I am guessing no, not by a long shot. And yet here we are, with things that happen outside of Alex Smith’s direct control and he is out of a job and on the bench. What is your take there?

    December 4th, 2012 11:55 am

  18. CohnZohn

    Dave T, They got beat by the Giants in the championship game and they didn’t play in the Super Bowl. I deal in reality.

    December 4th, 2012 3:41 pm

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