Seahawks vs 49ers, it’s Gabbert or bust for San Fran


The San Francisco 49ers placed QB Colin Kaepernick on season-ending injured reserve today, thereby making the commitment to play out the string in 2015 with Blaine Gabbert.

My how quickly things have changed.

Just 22 months ago (can you believe it’s been that long?) Kaepernick and the 49ers were just a few yards away from winning the NFC Championship Game and preventing the Seattle Seahawks from getting to, and winning, Super Bowl XLVII. And then came “The Tip and “The Rant” which led to “The Blowout Super Bowl Win Over The Broncos” by the Seahawks.

Now, with Kaepernick needing surgery on his non-throwing shoulder for a torn rotator cuff, the 49ers are turning their offense over to Blaine Gabbert.

Or Dylan Thompson. Let that sink in for a minute.

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It’s been a precipitous fall for the still-young Kaepernick whom Ron Jaworski once proclaimed had a chance to be “one of the all-time great” quarterbacks.  Now, he’s likely done in San Francisco. The team can move on from Kaepernick without owing any more guaranteed money if they cut him before next April.

Is Gabbert the answer? I suspect there isn’t a single person in San Fran’s front office who really believes that. The former first-round pick by Jacksonville has barely even showed promising flashes mixed in among his mostly terrible performances, save for an Alex Smith-like, ball control effort in the 49ers upset win over Atlanta two weeks ago. This is more likely about the team positioning themselves for 2016. As it stands right now, they would have a top ten pick in next year’s draft.

Can anyone sayyyyyyyyy…… Paxton Lynch?

If Gabbert were to get injured, Thompson was an undrafted free agent who was just elevated from the practice squad. Good luck with that.

As far as how it impacts the Seahawks in their must-win showdown tomorrow at the Clink, it’s hard to tell. Getting to unleash the Seahawks defense against Gabbert might be reminiscent of how they feasted on backup QB’s down the stretch in their playoff run of a year ago. But it’s difficult to imagine the Hawks looking forward to playing any QB more than they loved facing Kaepernick. His deer-in-the-headline look has become a standard cutaway during Seahawk matchups recently. He seemed simply incapable of performing well against Seattle.

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Can Gabbert do any better? Expect another ball-control effort with lots of short passes by the 49ers tomorrow. I would be surprised if they tried to be aggressive with downfield throws, as that’s not Gabbert’s forte (not that he really has a forte anyway.) But with stud-in-the-making running back Carlos Hyde ruled out for tomorrow with a fractured foot, nothing is going to come easy for the QB against a Seahawk D backed up squarely against the playoff wall.

Seattle won’t need to show up with their best effort tomorrow to beat this 49er team as it’s currently constructed.

Although….. it would be preferable if they did.

Meanwhile……. R.I.P. Colin Kaepernick. The San Francisco QB Seahawk fans loved to hate.