Bob Stanton-USA TODAY Sports

Bob Stanton-USA TODAY Sports



Colin Kaepernick is no longer the hot hand.

As the twelfth week of the NFL season dawned the San Francisco 49ers found themselves tied for second place in the NFC West with the Seattle Seahawks. They had battled through a myriad of issues through the beginning months of the season, but found themselves in position to make their typical end of season push into the playoffs.

Instead they have been pushed into the abyss.

The 49ers will miss the NFC playoffs for the first time since 2010, and will finish with their worst record since that season.

That's what happens when you lose four out of five during crunch time in an NFL season.

That's what happens when you have a three game stretch in which your offense can only muster 23 points.

That's what happens when you have a quarterback that completes less than sixty percent of his passes, averages only six yards per attempt, and throws more interceptions than touchdowns.

In November of 2012 Colin Kaepernick was the hot hand.

He took the NFL by storm. In his first two starts Kaepernick knocked off a Bears team that at the time had the best record in the NFC and then went into the Superdome and knocked off the Saints.

Kaepernick wasn't just the hot hand, he was the hot wheels as well.

With Kaepernick at the controls the 49ers enjoyed great success running the read option. The opposition couldn't figure out a way to stop it, and Kaepernick averaged over ten yards per carry on designed running plays.

The hot hand led the 49ers all the way to the Super Bowl.

In that offseason the sky seemed to be the limit. Numerous commentators were calling Kaepernick a future superstar with potential to eventually be among the best quarterbacks to ever play the game.

It wasn't long into 2013 before the hot hand started to be cooled down. In week two and three the 49ers offense was held to a total of ten points in back to back losses. The hot hand was ice cold, throwing four interceptions and no touchdowns in those losses.

After some tweaks to the play calling the team got back on track, the hot hand began to warm up again, and the team found it's way back to the NFC Championship game.

And the hot hand played well. The hot wheels were on fire.

And then the wheels fell off, and the hot hand turned the ball over three times in the fourth quarter.

The 2014 season started out in almost exactly the same way as the previous on had. The hot hand came out firing and the 49ers knocked off the Cowboys, and the offense looked like it would pick right up where it left off. Then came the loss to Chicago with the hot hand turning the ball over four times, and a loss to Arizona in which the coaching staff decided to shelve the run and put the game on the shoulders of the hot hand.

And then the playoff push that never came.

It really all started to fall apart in Denver way back in week seven. From that point forward the 49ers offense has scored more than 17 points in only two of nine games.

Over that period the hot hand has completed 155 out of 267 pass attempts for 1709 yards with 7 touchdowns and an NFL passer rating of 76.5.

Compare those numbers to the last nine starts made by Terrelle Pryor which saw him complete 153 out of 262 pass attempts for 1766 yards with 7 touchdowns.

Not good.

It's even worse when you look at how the hot hand has played during the playoff run that never was. Over the last five weeks he has completed 80 out of 134 pass attempts for 806 yards with 3 touchdowns and 5 interceptions. That's a rating of 68.8.

Jacksonville rookie Blake Bortles has a rating of 68.4 over his last five starts.

Not good.

And it's even worse when you look at how the hot hand has played in the second half of games over the last five weeks. Over that stretch the hot hand has put up a quarterback rating of 56.8.

Colin Kaepernick is no longer the hot hand. And it looks as though he will never get it back.