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Jim Harbaugh names Colin Kaepernick starting QB for Week 14

By Will Brinson | NFL Writer

Colin Kaepernick's first two weeks as the 49ers' starting quarterback quashed any notion of a "controversy." But after an overtime loss to the Rams on Sunday, plenty of questions about his viability as the starter emerged.

Jim Harbaugh isn't interested in those questions, so he went ahead and put an end to them on Monday, when he named Kaepernick the starter for Week 14 against the Dolphins.

The Week 13 loss to St. Louis featured a number of critical mistakes from the second-year quarterback, several of which produced points for the Rams.

Kaepernick threw out of his own end zone once, giving the Rams a safety. And he fumbled a read-option run play that resulted in more points for St. Louis. The latter wasn't his fault entirely, because it was just a way-too-cute call at the wrong time.

The Nevada product also made a lot of really nice plays, generating 84 rushing yards on nine carries.

What essentially became clear is this: Kaepernick, on a good day, represents a much greater amount of upside than Alex Smith. But Kaepernick, on a bad day, also represents much greater downside. His mistakes, generally speaking, will lead to more points for the opposition than Smith's.

That's life with a young quarterback, and it's OK. It might not matter, anyway, since Harbaugh seems pretty determined to go with "his guy" at this stage of the game. He made that pretty clear when he decided not to string out a decision until Wednesday of this week, making a call on Kaepernick right away.

For more NFL news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnNFL on Twitter, subscribe to our RSS Feed watch Pro Football 360 daily at 3 p.m. ET and NFL newsletter. You can follow Will Brinson on Twitter here: @willbrinson.

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