San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick passes during the first half of an NFL football game against the Washington Redskins in Landover, Md. Monday (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)
If you think the fact that the San Francisco 49ers are getting their star receiver Michael Crabtree back makes them a Super Bowl contender, stop lying to yourself.
The 49ers’ destiny is truly in third-year quarterback Colin Kaepernick’s hands.
The bicep kissing, Twitter-hate loving, 6-foot-4 inch Super Bowl quarterback still has a long way to go to guide his squad back.
Sure, Monday was a great start.
Fifteen-of-24 for 235 yards, three touchdowns and most importantly NO interceptions.
That’s the Kaepernick the world knew, and that’s the Kaepernick he’ll have to be to lead San Francisco to their sixth title.
“This was a good step for us in the right direction,” Kaepernick said.
Indeed it was.
The 27-6 Monday night road victory against the struggling Washington Redskins was a nice shot in the arm for a team that had dropped two-games in a row for the first time in the Jim Harbaugh era.
Not only did Kaepernick throw for over 200 yards for the first time in five games, but troubled outside lineback Aldon Smith also got back into the flow of things.
The third-year player and former seventh-overall pick of the 49ers, was dismissed from the team after their week three loss to the Indianapolis Colts because of his second DUI arrest since entering the league.
After playing sparingly in the last two contests -- both losses -- the All-Pro defender looks like he’s back.
Paired with Ahmad Brooks, who has been lights out for San Francisco in Smith’s absence, the 49ers defense will be even stingier than before.
But that won’t mean a thing if Kaepernick doesn’t keep his level of play where it was in the drubbing over Washington.
“We showed people we can pass the ball,” Gore said after Monday night. “That’s big for this team.”
With the addition of Crabtree, the 49ers top receiver from a year ago and Kaepernick’s missed target on their final offensive play of their Super Bowl loss, this offense could be dangerous, but don’t expect a deer antler spray type of return.
He’s coming off a complete tear of his right Achilles tendon, and is just six months removed from surgery.
The plan -- as it should be -- will be to ease the big-bodied receiver (6-1, 215) back into the game, and hopefully by the 49ers week 17 match up against the Arizona Cardinals, which could determine if they are a playoff team, he will be in mid-season form.
But it won’t matter if Crabtree returns to his 2013-self -- 85 catches, 1,105 yards, nine touchdowns and 536 yards after catch -- Kaepernick must be better, smarter and more decisive.
You can say that the defense and the weapons around him are good enough to make it back, but that’s what they said about now-Kansas City Chiefs signal caller Alex Smith.
Harbaugh and the 49ers organization made the move from Smith to Kaepernick to win their sixth title.
“You’ve got to ask the people who were questioning him,” Anquan Boldin, who caught two touchdowns on Monday night, said of criticism of the QB. “We didn’t lose confidence in ourselves. We know what we’re capable of doing. If we come out and execute, you’ll see the results.”
Now it’s time to see if they made the right one, or if Kaepernick was just a flash in a pan.
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