SANTA CLARA —You have to admit, Russell Wilson looked like a miniature combination of Joe Montana and Steve Young Monday night against the Saints — Montana's cool demeanor and precision from the pocket, Young's explosive ability to make plays on the run. Wilson has been that Montana-Young combo most of this season, his second in the league.
Kaepernick's combo this season hasn't been nearly as good. Sure, sometimes he looks like Brett Favre. But, other times he looks like a guy doing a bad impression of Alex Smith — the sacks, the inability to convert third downs at a respectable rate, the not throwing to receivers who are open, plus a bunch of delay of game penalties and fumbled snaps sprinkled in here and there. Call those Kaepernick Specials.
Last season, Kaepernick seemed better than Wilson — Kaepernick went to the Super Bowl and Wilson didn't. But this season, it is not close. Wilson is way better.
Here are five reasons why:
1. Accuracy. Wilson has improved in this area and Kaepernick has regressed. This season, Kaepernick is completing 57.8 percent of his passes — stink-o-rama. Wilson is completing 64.9 percent of his passes — great-o-rama. When Montana was Wilson's age, Montana completed 63.7 percent of his passes. Try to get your head around that one.
2. Elusiveness. This really isn't Kaepernick's strength. He's fast when he gets his long stride turning, but he's not elusive in the open field or in the pocket. Elusiveness always has been one of Wilson's best traits. He runs circles around defenders, like Young used to do, and he sure runs circles around Kaepernick.
3. Improvisation. Another trait Wilson shares with Young. When Young was scrambling, he always knew when to pass, when to run and when to pump fake. These things were like breathing for him, and they're like breathing for Wilson. This season, Kaepernick has not been a good improviser. He's been mechanical, like Alex Smith.