When Jim Harbaugh made the switch to Colin Kaepernick and away from Alex Smith, it might've looked like he was throwing in a random change because of Smith's competent yet underwhelming quarterback play. Maybe it even looked like the move risked throwing a wrench in the San Francisco 49ers postseason hopes.
Instead, it appears Harbaugh knew what he was doing all along. Following the 49ers' 41-34 win against the New England Patriots, the Bay Area Sports Guy writes that it was a move to make the 49ers rid themselves of being a defensive team held back by a lackluster offense:
This offense is more than just watchable now - it's dynamic and dangerous. It's potent enough to outscore the Patriots in the elements in Foxboro. Most importantly though, it's no longer the anchor holding them back from a potential championship.
Kaepernick went 14-of-25 for 216 yards, four touchdowns and one interception at New England. He ran for another 28. Numbers don't do the performance justice, however. Kaepernick's arm and legs give the 49ers more options on each play than Smith ever did, even when he wasn't making mistakes.
Against a high-powered offense like New England, or a similar-to-themselves team in the New York Giants, Kaepernick could very well be the piece that puts the 49ers over the top.