Days Until Super Bowl LIII From January 19: 15
Nowadays, Colin Kaepernick is one of the most divisive men in America after locking horns with President Trump over his national anthem protests. But once upon a time he was just a highly promising quarterback with an exciting career ahead of him, and he got his big break in the 2012 season.
San Francisco 49ers quarterback Alex Smith went down with a concussion in Week 10 against the Rams, and Kaepernick hit the big time. He completed 11 of 17 passes for 117 yards and added 66 rushing yards and a rushing touchdown as the game ended 24-24. He got his first career start the following week, going 16-of-23 for 246 yards with two touchdowns in a 32–7 win against a highly rated Bears defense.
Some fans clamored for Jim Harbaugh to reinstate Smith, who led the league in completion percentage and was ranked third in passer rating. But the coach decided to put his faith in young Kaepernick and the gamble paid off as he led the 49ers to Super Bowl XLVII, breaking the postseason rushing record in the process.
San Francisco went into the game as the four-point favorite, but the Baltimore Ravens were on fire that day. They battled to a 31-23 lead in the fourth quarter, but Kaepernick still had one more trick up his sleeve. After a 32-yard pass to Randy Moss and a 21-yard gain by Pro Bowl running back Frank Gore, the young QB carried the ball into the end zone on a 15-yard run, making it the longest touchdown run by a QB in Super Bowl history.
It was a magnificent performance from Kaepernick, who passed for 302 yards and a touchdown, while also rushing for 62 yards and another score. But it was not enough to secure a comeback victory. The 49ers went for a two-point conversion, which failed as Kaepernick’s pass to Michael Crabtree was incomplete, and they ended up succumbing to a 34-31 defeat.