San Francisco 49er Colin Kaepernick put on a show last week. In the NFC championship Sunday, he was just as impressive with his arm and his cool, vindicating coach Jim Harbaugh.
Perhaps this is what Jim Harbaugh imagined. Perhaps, when the San Francisco 49ers traded up to take Colin Kaepernick in the second round of the 2011 draft, Harbaugh knew that the rangy quarterback with a bodybuilder's arms and a sprinter's legs could stand in a cauldron of sound, down 17 points, in his ninth professional game, and lead his team to the Super Bowl.
If so, then his reward is fitting. Forty-niners coach Harbaugh is taking an offense no one knows how to stop – led by a star quarterback that seemingly no one but he saw coming – to the National Football League title game Feb. 3 in New Orleans.
Last week, Kaepernick continued this season's reinvention of the modern quarterback with a record 181 yards rushing against the Green Bay Packers. This Sunday, he did nothing too far beyond the ordinary – which, in its way, was spectacular.
The Atlanta Falcons had seen what Kaepernick did to the Packers, and their defense Sunday was designed to prevent him from doing it to them. That part worked. But in the end, it didn't help them much.
Kaepernick merely showed that he could do it the Peyton Manning way, too – beating a team with his arm from inside the pocket.