Harbaugh's QB decision all about playoffs, Super Bowl


Harbaugh's QB decision all about playoffs, Super Bowl

PROGRAMMING NOTE: Watch Jim Harbaugh's Wednesday press conference live on CSNBayArea.com at 11:55am. He is expected to announce who will start at QB this Sunday vs. the Rams.

Coach Jim Harbaugh on Wednesday is expected to supply the answer to the question, Alex Smith or Colin Kaepernick?In order to answer that question, though, Harbaugh first had to ask himself something else.Which quarterback gives the 49ers the best chance to advance in the playoffs this season and win the Super Bowl?That's it. That's all that matters.This is not about which quarterback gives the 49ers the best chance to win Sunday in St. Louis or the following week against the Miami Dolphins. This is all about winning the Super Bowl on the first Sunday in February.
Oh, sure, there are smaller parts to the puzzle, such as . . . Which quarterback can make all the throws? Which quarterback is a better decision-maker? Which quarterback can keep plays alive with his feet? Which quarterback can make the better pre-snap reads to get the offense into the best plays?But it all comes down to whether Harbaugh believes Kaepernick, with another five regular-season games as a starter, will be better able to lead the 49ers into the playoffs than Smith.Perhaps, there's no wrong answer.Perhaps, there's no right answer, either.RELATED: 49ers' Walker expecting Alex Smith to start Sunday
This is not about what's fair. If that's the case, Smith would get his job back after being sidelined with a concussion. This is not about loyalty. This is not about building for 2013 and beyond. This is not about making sure the 49ers get some return on their investment to trade up in the second round for Kaepernick.It's all about the cold reality of winning football games.It would seem that Harbaugh telegraphed his intentions after Kaepernick's breakout performance against the Chicago Bears. The coach who all along had stated Alex Smith was his guy, was suddenly noncommittal about declaring Smith as his starter when he got healthy.Even with the answer for today, it does not mean that things will not change before the playoffs begin. (And the 49ers are definitely going to the playoffs with a 2 12-game lead in the NFC West.)If Harbaugh goes with Kaepernick, he must be prepared for a bump or two in the final five regular-season games. After all, he's a young guy with tons of potential who is still learning on the job. But if Harbaugh sticks with the veteran, Smith will be on a short leash after Kaepernick had his opportunity to show what he can do.

After getting benched vs Bears, Colin Kaepernick to start vs Jets

After getting benched vs Bears, Colin Kaepernick to start vs Jets

Colin Kaepernick will remain as the 49ers’ starting quarterback on Sunday against the New York Jets.

Offensive coordinator Curtis Modkins made the announcement on Tuesday while coach Chip Kelly was in Maine for services for his father, E. Paul Kelly, who passed away on Friday.

Kaepernick has started the past seven games for the 49ers, during which time the club has gone winless. The 49ers (1-11) are on a franchise-long 11 game-losing streak.

Kaepernick went 1 of 5 on Sunday for just four yards in the 49ers’ 26-6 loss to the Chicago Bears. Kaepernick was also sacked five times for minus-25 yards before getting benched in favor of Blaine Gabbert.

“We had been playing good football on offense and the thing had been trending in the right direction,” Modkins said.

A week earlier against the Miami Dolphins, Kaepernick threw for 296 yards and three touchdowns and also rushed for 113 yards as the 49ers rolled up 475 yards of total offense.

Kelly said the 49ers made the switch at quarterback early in the fourth quarter on Sunday against the Bears in hopes Gabbert would provide a spark. Gabbert started the 49ers’ first five games of the season before Kaepernick replaced him.

Ex-49ers RB Frank Gore moves to No. 8 on all-time list

Ex-49ers RB Frank Gore moves to No. 8 on all-time list

Frank Gore continues to move up the list of the top rushers in NFL history.

Gore, the 49ers’ all-time leading ground-gainer, picked up 79 yards on 20 rushing attempts Monday night in the Indianapolis Colts’ 41-10 victory over the New York Jets.

Gore moved past Tony Dorsett and into eighth place on the NFL’s all-time list with 12,789 yards. Next up is Eric Dickerson at No. 7 with 13,259 yards.

The only retired player in the top 11 all-time rushers who is not in the Pro Football Hall of Fame is LaDainian Tomlinson. He is eligible for the induction for the first time in 2017. The only other running back in the top 15 who is not in the Hall of Fame is Edgerrin James at No. 12.

In 10 seasons with the 49ers, Gore gained a club-record 11,073 yards. In 28 games with the Colts, Gore has 1,716 yards.

After coming up just 33 yards short of the 1,000-yard mark in his first year in Indianapolis, Gore needs 251 yards in the final four games for the ninth 1,000-yard season of his 12-year career.