In news that will surprise no one, 49ers head coach Jim Harbaugh announced on Wednesday afternoon that Colin Kaepernick will be his starting quarterback for a Week 13 trip to St. Louis and a game against the Rams. It came down to playing the "hot hand" to quote the coach.
Niners Nation has more on the decision:
When asked for the rationale, Coach Harbaugh stated that Kaepernick had the hot hand over the last three games, and that tipped the scales in his favor. Again, nothing remotely surprising about this, but it's nice that we don't have to deal with speculation about the starter through Sunday. Even though Coach Harbaugh stated that Smith was "our guy", Kaepernick is the starter for Week 13.
The Rams were the first team to face Kaepernick this season. Taking over for a concussed Alex Smith in a Week 10 tie, the second-year quarterback went 11-for-17 with 117 yards. He was more dangerous to the Rams as a rusher, running eight times for 66 yards and a touchdown.
St. Louis has struggled against mobile quarterbacks in the past, partly because of outside linebackers and partly because of two starting defensive ends that struggle to bottle up outside running lanes. That said, the Rams were effective in containing Washington's RGIII in a Week 2 win at home.
Here's what Jeff Fisher said about Kaepernick on Monday:
"Mobility and accuracy. We didn't confuse him. He made plays. And then to come back and do what he did on Monday night against the Bears was pretty impressive. Then, to carry it on again yesterday was impressive. Obviously, the subtle differences over the last couple games are that the ball is going downfield with accuracy. You take their running game -- which, we all know how talented and productive their running game is -- then you add the vertical passing game to it, it makes a huge challenge on your defense."
In the two games since then, Kaepernick has done well as a passer, expanding the field with his arm. He's got 474 passing yards with three touchdowns and one interception and an average of 9.9 yards per passing attempt. He added another rushing score against the Saints last week.