Yes sir, another amazing Thursday Night Football game is in the books. Man, I can’t believe I am saying this, but TNF may have to go. I love football, but TNF has been — for the most part — painful to watch. I would want the NFL to figure out a way to have football every night of the week if it were possible, but these games are horrendous.
I think the best way to do Thursday Night Football would be to have the TNF game be between two teams that had a bye the previous Sunday. Give them a full ten days to prepare for the game and another ten days to prepare for their next. Seems pretty simple, but the simple things are often the hardest.
As if the game wasn’t bad enough, we had to watch two of the more overrated quarterbacks in the NFL right now. Is anyone else (outside of Seattle, because I know San Fran fans must be fed up watching Kaepernick) tired of these two guys. Russell Wilson and Colin Kaepernick get a lot of love because they are young QBs entering what should be their prime. They also have been the starting quarterbacks in the past three Super Bowls.
I’ll give Wilson more credit than Kaepernick because at least when he gets time and a wide open receiver, he throws a nice ball. I watched Kaepernick overthrow Anquan Boldin on back-to-back plays. Neither throw was close and they both soared out of bounds.
The problem for Wilson this season is that he has been under much more duress than he has ever been. You know why? Because the Seahawks inexplicably traded Max Unger to the New Orleans Saints for the best pure receiving tight end in football (calm down, we all know Gronk is the best all-around tight end in the game) AND THEY DON’T USE HIM!
Wilson is leading the league in times being sacked at 31, and instead of being an NFL quarterback he uses his natural running ability and immediately takes off running. That’s great for fantasy stats and all, but when the pressure is coming in the fourth quarter… well, we saw what happened.
Because of the immense pressure on him, Wilson’s historically fantastic TD:INT ratio is no where near what it should be. Coming into this season, Wilson was an efficient QB based on a 72 TD: 26 INT rate over his career. This year? Eight touchdowns to five interceptions. That’s not what makes Wilson the QB he has become. And instead of staying in the pocket and finding a receiver, he bolts.
Darrell Bevell has to become more creative with this offense. Is he afraid to unleash Wilson because he knows something we don’t? That touchdown pass to Lockette looked like he could throw a football, no? I just don’t get it. When your QB is being sacked at a record-setting pace and you have one of the best tight ends in the game, why is Jimmy Graham not getting more underneath dump offs? Why isn’t the speed demon Tyler Lockett getting more bubble screens? While Wilson is struggling, I see a lot of the problems not being his alone.
Kaepernick… I just think he’s run his course. I know he is still capable of big games (garbage time anyone?). I know the 49ers are infinitely worse than last season with all of the offseason changes, but I haven’t thought Kaep was good since his Super Bowl run.
I have always said that Kaepernick is the modern-day Jeff Hostetler. He replaced the injured starting QB and rode the momentum of an already good team with a sound running game and amazing defense to the Super Bowl. They both ousted the QB they replaced and within a season or two, people realized that there were a lot more factors to their teams’ success than those at the helm.
Here’s my problem with Kaepernick’s performance last night. When you think of Kaepernick, what do you think of? A mobile quarterback, with lightning fast speed, right? Me too.
You know who is a close second in being sacked on the season behind Russell Wilson? That’s right, it’s Colin with 25. You know who had ZERO rushing yards last night? That’s right, it’s Colin.
Kaepernick is coming off two good games against two teams that were in the bottom five in the NFL in pass defense (the Baltimore Ravens and the New York Giants). Everyone felt the old Kaepernick was back, so we completely dismissed the fact that in the previous two games against real defenses (the Arizona Cardinals and Green Bay Packers) that Kaepernick threw for a combined 227 yards, zero touchdowns and FIVE interceptions. Fair assessment, right fellows?
Look, if Blaine Gabbert were my backup quarterback, I would probably continue to roll with Kaepernick as well. At least he is opportunistic against the lesser defenses in the league. The problem is he plays in the NFC West, where there are no lesser defenses.
I like Wilson. I think the offense needs to adjust a little bit and help him get back on track. Beast Mode being fully healthy (kind of Mr. Barfs-a-lot) certainly will help. The 49ers? I just think they are in a lot of trouble.