In recent years, Colin Kaepernick has become known for his political stances that he believes have kept him out of the NFL since 2017. The now-controversial figure began the trend of players in multiple sports kneeling during the national anthem as a form of silent protest. Before that, though, Kaepernick had a pretty good run as a starting quarterback in the league. Here’s a look at some of the best games Kaepernick had during his short-but-noteworthy NFL career.
Dec. 16, 2012
In Week 15 of the 2012 season, Colin Kaepernick helped lead his 49ers to victory over future Hall of Famer Tom Brady and the Patriots. Kaepernick didn’t throw many passes, but he was productive with his throws. He was 14-for-25 passing for 221 yards, which isn’t that impressive. What stands out from the game’s stats is Kaepernick’s career-high four touchdowns, with just one interception. That performance gave him a 108.5 quarterback rating and helped the 49ers improve to 10-3-1 on the season.
Sept. 8, 2013
Kaepernick and the 49ers opened the 2013 season at home against the Packers, led by another future Hall of Famer in Aaron Rodgers. Kaepernick had what may have been the best game of his career in the Week 1 contest. He completed 27 of his 39 passes — nearly 70% — for a career-best 412 yards. It would end up being the only 400-yard passing game of his career. It wasn’t just the yardage total that was impressive in the game, as Kaepernick also threw three touchdown passes without an interception, and the 49ers won the game, 34-28.
Sept. 20, 2015
The trend here seems to be that Colin Kaepernick tends to have some of his best games when he is opposing the best quarterbacks of his generation. This time, in Week 2 of 2015, the 49ers faced Ben Roethlisberger and the Steelers at Heinz Field. The 49ers lost a lopsided game, 43-18, but Kaepernick did his part. He completed more than 71% of his passes, going 33-for-46 for 335 yards. He threw two touchdowns in the game with no interceptions.
Nov. 6, 2016
The 49ers hosted the Saints in Week 9 of the 2016 campaign, which meant Drew Brees was on the opposite sideline for this game. Kaepernick was 24-for-39 passing, throwing for 398 yards, which was the second-highest total of his career. He threw two touchdowns and one interception.
It was another game that the 49ers lost which wasn’t that close with the Saints finishing on top 41-23, dropping the 49ers to 1-7, but it was just the third game of the season that Kaepernick started.
Nov. 27, 2016
Three weeks later, Kaepernick and the 49ers were in Miami to face off against the Dolphins in Week 12, with Ryan Tannehill under center for the home team. Kaepernick was 29-for-46 through the air, throwing for 296 yards and three touchdowns with one interception. But Kaepernick was also putting up yards on the ground, running for 113 yards on 10 carries, making him the team’s top runner in the game. Despite Kaepernick’s performance, though, the 49ers dropped the game to the Dolphins, 31-24, giving them a 1-10 record.
Jan. 12, 2013
Colin Kaepernick played in six postseason games, including Super Bowl XLVII, but this divisional round game was statistically the best overall playoff game of his career. Kaepernick was 26-for-39 for 263 yards, and he threw two touchdown passes and one interception. On the ground, he carried the ball 16 times for 181 yards, which included two rushing touchdowns. Kaepernick’s Herculean effort paid off, as the 49ers beat the Packers, 45-31.