News has once again hit the NFL world that Colin Kaepernick is looking to make his way back into the league. He was recently seen working out for the Las Vegas Raiders. Kaepernick is one of the most controversial figures in the NFL due to his protests during the national anthem regarding racial inequality. What often gets lost in the discussion is his performance on the field as a quarterback.
Drafted in the second round (36th overall) by the San Francisco 49ers, the quarterback had back-to-back 3000 yard passing seasons in 2013 and 2014 and led the 49ers to a Superbowl appearance in 2013. He was a dual threat quarterback who in many ways helped pave the way for the modern quarterback today.
Here are Colin Kaepernick's 5 best performances as an NFL quarterback.
#5 - NFC Divisional Playoffs, 2012, vs. Green Bay Packers
Kaepernick always seemed to have Aaron Rodgers and the Green Bay Packers number. In this NFL playoff game, Kaepernick went 26-39 for 263 yards passing and two touchdowns as well as 181 rushing yards and two rushing touchdowns. The Packers had no answer for him on this day and it wouldn't be the last time the quarterback would break the hearts of Packers fans.
#4 - Week 1, 2013, vs. Green Bay Packers
Starting off the season on the right foot is a bonus for every NFL team. For the two powerhouses contending in the NFC this week, one matchup was even more important. Last season's playoff defeat was still raw and revenge was on the cards for the Packers. Unfortunately for them, the 49ers quarterback kicked off his season in a dynamic way, throwing for 412 yards, the only 400 yard passing game of his career, throwing for three touchdowns in another victory over Green Bay.
#3 - 2013 NFC Wild Card Game, vs Green Bay Packers
We swear this isn't a Kaepernick vs. Green Bay Packers list. Sometimes some players just rise up when the occasion calls, and Kaepernick always seems to raise his game against some of the NFL's best quarterbacks. The performance wasn't overwhelming stats-wise (227 yards passing, 98 rushing), but the result was one San Francisco fans will remember. Leading his team to victory, the quarterback drove down the field, resulting in a game-winning field goal with no time left on the clock.
#2 - NFC Championship Game, 2012 vs. Atlanta Falcons
The quarterback led the 49ers back to the Superbowl for the first time since the Steve Young era, winning 28-24 against the favored Atlanta Falcons. Down 17-0 early in the 2nd quarter, Kaepernick would not give up, throwing for 237 yards and a touchdown. Again, it wasn't a statistically noteworthy game for him, but his never-give-up attitude and leadership capabilties were on display for all of the NFL to see, particularly in such an important game.
#1 - Week 15, 2012 vs. New England Patriots
Any time you get the chance to play against the best NFL quarterback of all time and beat him, it's a memorable game. Kaepernick threw four touchdown passes, going head-to-head with Tom Brady in a late-season game that set the tone for both the playoffs and the 49ers' eventual run to the Superbowl.
After looking at these performances, it's hard to argue that the polarizing quarterback doesn't have what it takes. He may have been away too long to be a starter, but he could likely offer much to a franchise as a backup.