Ratto: '49ers clearly have advantage on defense'
"No matter how you shake it, [Kaepernick] and Smith are the two dice in the same cup, and you can’t play without totaling and comparing their dots."
"At some point, Alex Smith and Colin Kaepernick will actually be evaluated on their own separate merits. Of course, none of us will be alive when that happens."
At some point, Alex Smith and Colin Kaepernick will actually be evaluated on their own separate merits. Of course, none of us will be alive when that happens, but eventually people will forget that once upon a time they were conjoined by happenstance and a conveniently timed injury.
Until then, though, Kansas City’s 45-44 come-from-mortal-lock loss to Indianapolis will be hung on Smith, while Kaepernick plays his hand Sunday in Green Bay. One of Smith’s greatest halves of football was negated by a rain of injuries, premature time outs, mistakes, Luck (lower and upper case) and general jaw-droppage.
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Kaepernick, on the other hand, will attempt to relive one of his greatest collegiate moments – the 34-31 come-from-equally-demised overtime win over Boise State in equally frigid conditions at Nevada Reno in 2010. And Sunday’s game, should the 49ers navigate the Green Bay Packers, steers them directly into the teeth of the unknowable Carolina Panthers.
That became the team's next potential stop when New Orleans outlasted Philadelphia, 26-24, Saturday night. The Saints won the “right” to go to Seattle and spend next week in Hell’s Waiting Room, and the 49ers put off the dentist’s chair for another week.
Or at least maybe they put off the chair.
But the 49ers didn’t get that part of the job done. In fact, they haven’t gotten any part of the job done yet, because before they go to Charlotte, they still have to get around Greenland Bay . . . oops, sorry. Another weather-related pun, for which we are duly apologetic.
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If there is a hope for Sunday’s game, it is that it lives up to its two immediate predecessors. Colts-Chiefs was an extraordinary pie fight, while Saints-Eagles was a taut thriller, and both were worth watching from beginning to end. Well, okay, Saints-Eagles started with a plod, but it closed on a dead sprint, which made Saturday well worth the bother.
There is no telling what to expect from 49ers-Packers, because of the hideous weather forecast. Above 20 degrees with no wind, it’s just a brisk day. Below 10 with 15-mph plus, it could be a cavalcade of crud for both sides.
But however it plays out, part of the story will be Kaepernick tied to Smith. Can he score 44 points and lose? Can he score 44 and win? Can he score 22 and win, and can he score 22 and lose? No matter how you shake it, he and Smith are the two dice in the same cup, and you can’t play without totaling and comparing their dots.
But Colin Rand Kaepernick has one clear advantage. He lasts at least one day longer than Alexander D. Smith. Make of that whatever you will. And we know you will.