Is it time to start questioning the 49ers' move to Colin Kaepernick? I say it is. The 49ers' passing game is just OK. We saw how it can struggle against the Seahawks on Sunday night. Kaepernick has wonderful skills. But he just didn't look that good on the road against the Seahawks. And he didn't look good against the Rams three weeks ago.
It doesn't help that the 49ers don't have a player who can stretch the field. And now they might be without receiver Mario Manningham the rest of the way after he went down because of a knee injury. Randy Moss does nothing.
The move to go to Kaepernick was a risky and arrogant move by Jim Harbaugh. The playoffs will determine if it was the right move, but for now there are doubts. Alex Smith was playing well when he was benched. Kaepernick has lost two of his six starts. I didn't like the move when it was made, and now there are even more questions about it. Kaepernick wasn't the reason the 49ers lost to the Seahawks, but he also didn't do enough to win it.
|Week 16 in review|
Jason La Canfora
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He was put into the lineup to amp up the deep passing game. He is averaging 8.09 yards per attempt. Smith averaged 7.98, so not much difference. I still think Kaepernick is the guy for the future. But did it have to happen so fast? If the 49ers do not get at least to the NFC title game, the move is a failure.
• When I saw Jaguars owner Shad Khan at Sunday's Patriots-Jaguars game, I asked him if he was really considering bringing the gimmick known as "TO" Tebow -- get it? -- to Jacksonville. Of course, I told him how stupid that would be. Khan kind of waved it off, but didn't shoot it down.
ESPN reported Sunday night that Tebow to the Jaguars was a "virtual certainty" and said there would be an open quarterback competition. From what I've been told, Tebow would be brought in as a fullback/H-back/specialty player -- not as a QB -- if he were to come to Jacksonville. The feeling from most inside the organization is that he isn't capable of being a starting quarterback. Khan laughed me off when I mentioned it to him, so we will see. But I would imagine that the Jaguars would explore Tebow if he is let go by the Jets.
As far as the notion he would help sell tickets, maybe Tampa Bay should get him. They have more problems with ticket sales than Jacksonville, which hasn't had a blackout in three years. One more thing, if the Jaguars are going to fire general manager Gene Smith, which is almost a certainty, does this mean Khan would be making a football decision? If so, that's a bad idea. How do you saddle a new GM with the news that Tebow is coming?
• If Tebow really asked off the wildcat because he was passed over by the Jets for Greg McElroy, then he is selfish -- just like a lot of other players. That's diva behavior. It's the first hint of him not being just a happy teammate. Look, he wants to play. I get it. But do as you're told. You are paid to play. Maybe it's time he realizes that his college career and all the hoopla mean nothing in the big-boy league. And please stop saying he didn't get a fair shot and the Jets misled him? This is the NFL. You earn your time on the field. Here's what the fans don't know: The Jets coaches think he's a one-read QB and then run out. Just like I do.
• Big win for the Bengals in Pittsburgh. But what the heck was Bengals coach Marvin Lewis doing? He went for it on fourth-and-22 with a three-point lead? Why not punt? And he tried a 56-yard field goal rather than punting? Bad situational coaching drives me crazy.
• What a horrible throw by Ben Roethlisberger to set up the Bengals' winning field goal. You can't make that decision, Ben.
• The Patriots' lack of team speed really shows up at times. I thought it did in Jacksonville on Sunday. They are great at scheming things open, but at some point not having a player to stretch the field might hurt them. They also have little in terms of the return game.
• It sure as heck looks like the Bucs quit on Greg Schiano. He might have to re-visit the way he does things. The Bucs looked spent the past two weeks.
• Speaking of Tampa, what happened to Josh Freeman? He has been horrible the past two weeks. He threw three picks against the Rams on Sunday.
• Even if the Vikings don't make the playoffs, coach Leslie Frazier has done a nice job with this team. He isn't gong anywhere, nor should he. Frazier is a good coach. That will be proven over the years.
• The officials blew it on the call on Kam Chancellor on Sunday night for his hit on Vernon Davis. If that isn't legal, I don't know what is. I am all for protecting players, but that was a bad call. Bet he's not fined.
• Tony Romo has a chance to shut up a lot of critics this week against the Redskins. PS: He has been on fire. Give him his due. But if he loses to the Redskins, the critics will howl. That's the way it is when you quarterback the Cowboys.
• The Bengals are in the playoffs for the second consecutive season. And they are a dangerous team. Why? They can throw it, and they can rush the passer. That's the secret to making a playoff push these days. The Andy Dalton-A.J. Green combo is top notch. And their ability to rush the passer with four down linemen is as good as any team in the league. Defensive tackle Geno Atkins is the best at his position right now. He can't be single-blocked. Don't think the Bengals are a fluke. They are for real.
• Janoris Jenkins is a player. The Rams took a gamble on Jenkins, who came into the league with character issues, but now we know why. He had another pick-six on Sunday, his fourth of the season. Jenkins will be a star corner -- if he stays out of trouble.
• Is Jake Locker a bust? He sure looked liked it Sunday against Green Bay. But it's way too early for that.
• Kudos to Bruce Arians for his wonderful job keeping the Indianapolis Colts together as Chuck Pagano battled his illness. Somebody should consider Arians for a head-coaching job. Now.
• The Ryan Fitzpatrick era looks to be over in Buffalo. The message: You are what you are.
• Blair Walsh is a kicking machine for the Vikings. He has nine field goals of 50 yards or more -- as a rookie. Wow.