Not sure how you feel about it, but every time I hear the name “Kaepernick” I automatically recoil and flash back to the 2012 NFC divisional playoffs when Colin Kaepernick ran silly past a stunned Green Bay team. He carried the ball 16 times for a quarterback-record 181 yards and scored two touchdowns, finishing with 437 yards in an embarrassing 45-31 loss at San Francisco.

If you recall (and I wish I couldn’t), the nightmare continued the next time Green Bay played San Francisco in the 2013 season opener.

Advertisement
Advertisement

This time Kaepernick shifted gears and passed for 412 yards and three TDs for a 34-28 victory at San Francisco.

And in the 2013 playoffs, a sleeveless Kaepernick proved to be equally confounding in 5 degree Green Bay with 227 yards passing and 96 yards rushing in a 23-20 heartbreaking loss.

Three games in two seasons: 895 yards passing, 291 yards rushing, and six touchdowns.

I really hated that guy.

Advertisement

But I hate all really good running quarterbacks. For some ungodly reason, we have trouble stopping teams with really good running quarterbacks. And running backs, too.

We haven’t seen Kaepernick since Jan. 4, 2014, which you would think is a good thing, but times have changed since the last time we met.

Last season Kaepernick played all 16 games but threw 10 interceptions against 19 TDs and had a Total Quarterback Rating (QBR) of 86 to rank 20th in the league.

Don’t miss the latest news!
Click on the topic you interest most. We'll keep you updated with all the news you shouldn't miss.
NFL Green Bay Packers

He still ran a lot, finishing with 639 yards, but also was sacked 52 times, second most in the league. And the 49ers won less, too, going a pedestrian 8-8.

It has started much better in 2015 for Kap.

At 1-2, San Francisco ranks last (32nd) in scoring with 45 points, and 31st in points allowed at 93—a -48 point differential! And last week, in what was a career-worst game, Kaepernick was intercepted four times, two returned for touchdowns, and completed just 9 of 19 passes for 67 yards for a 3.2 QBR in a miserable 47-7 loss at the Arizona Cardinals.

So what Kaepernick will the Packers see Sunday, at Levi’s Stadium, home to this season’s 50th Anniversary Super Bowl?

Will we see the strong-armed Avatar who has baffled Tom Capers’ defense in the three previous meetings, mixing big passing with big running plays to confuse an over-pursing defense. Or a QB who doesn’t look confident or comfortable in the new system under new 49ers head coach Jim Tomsula and new quarterbacks coach Steve Logan.

Advertisement

Conversely, the Packers defense is looking extremely confident, even though they are 25th in yards rushing at 128 per game and face a quality running back in Carlos Hyde, who is fourth in the league with 262 yards (4.9 per attempt). Clay Matthews will do a better job as the spy on Kaepernick at inside linebacker, and with Joe Thomas playing well Matthews can move to outside linebacker occasionally to keep Kaepernick and the 49er coaches guessing.

Advertisement

The Packers broke down the season in four quarters, and a victory over the 49ers would not only complete Green Bay’s short-term goal going into the season, but allow them to settle another score, first against Seattle and now San Francisco.

Don't miss our page on Facebook!
Click to read more