Backup Quarterbacks with Key Opportunities
As mentioned earlier, losing Cutler against Houston was devastating for the Bears. His past experience as a starter definitely makes Campbell a more adequate backup than Caleb Hanne was last year, but it was clear the coaching staff was unwilling to take chances with him in the game, and similarly clear that Campbell couldn’t navigate through the Houston defense.
Well things shouldn’t be much easier this Monday in San Francisco. Despite being 7-1 with a little comfort on top of the NFC North standings going into week 10, it’s now looking like Green Bay could potentially be right up there with the Bears at 7-3 going into week 12. And the wildcard race in the NFC isn’t looking nearly as set-in-stone as the AFC’s, with 4 non-division leaders currently over .500.
Translation: Cutler better get back soon, or the team better figure out how to operate with Campbell.
4. Kaepernick’s Shot?
This is something I couldn’t be more intrigued about. Alex Smith hasn’t been ruled out of Sunday’s game – word is that he just needs to pass a contact test to be cleared – but is anyone else curious to see how another Quarterback might fit into Greg Roman’s offense?
Smith has done a great job in the Harbaugh era, but if I’m an opposing team, I’m just never really that afraid of him. He’s a capable and smart passer, but overall a little underwhelming, and after six and a half up-and-down seasons for Smith in San Francisco, I’d like to see what more of a game-changing Quarterback could do. Whether or not Kaepernick is that guy is still a big question, but we may know shortly.
After just one year in the league, we’ve already seen some big improvements from Kaepernick, albeit with a limited sample size. In his first preseason last year, Kaepernick threw 5 picks and no Touchdowns, barely seeing the field during the course of his rookie year. But in 2012’s preseason, Kaepernick completed 25 of his 39 passes for 297 yards and 2 Touchdowns. He also ran for 122 yards and a Touchdown. But best of all was the fact that he didn’t turn the ball over a single time – a staple of the Harbaugh system, and a big sign that the young Quarterback has made some serious improvements.
His strong preseason has helped him see the field a little more this season, but he’s yet to really get the opportunity to be in the driver’s seat for a full game. This week would be a tough debut against a stingy Chicago defense, but a successful outing could really open some eyes and raise some serious Alex Smith questions in San Fran.