San Francisco 49ers News and Rumors: Will Colin Kaepernick and Blaine Gabbert Battle To Start? Does Chip Kelly Have A Quarterback Competition?

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Jan 21, 2016 02:32 PM EST
Colin Kaepernick #7 watches Blaine Gabbert #2 of the San Francisco 49ers
Colin Kaepernick #7 watches Blaine Gabbert #2 of the San Francisco 49ers warm up before their game against the Atlanta Falcons at Levi's Stadium on November 8, 2015 in Santa Clara, California."

Chip Kelly is entering unknown territory as he begins his tenure as the new San Francisco 49ers head coach and already has a pretty major decision to face, who will be the best option as the 49ers quarterback?

The choice between Blaine Gabbert and Colin Kaepernick may not be as easy as it seems. Kelly has always been a fan of Kaepernick's but keeping him on the roster will cost the Niners a lot more than they may be willing to spend at this point. It seems as if Kelly could be open to keeping both quarterbacks as he made this statement,

"I think statistics bear out that you probably need two good quarterbacks in this league with the injury rate quarterbacks have. I think both of those players make this an attractive situation."

I doubt the 49ers brass will allow this to occur as the team has a ton of holes to fill besides at the quarterback position. Just looking at the numbers there is not a ton of variation to go on, both Kaepernick and Gabbert have played 8 games in the 2015 season so their numbers are sharply similar. Kaepernick completed 144 out of 244 passing attempts while Gabbert completed 178 out of 282. Gabbert has the edge in completion percentage with a 63.1 but Kaepernick is not too far off with a 59.0.

Gabbert amassed 2,031 yards while Kaepernick only put up 1,615. Kaepernick has a 6 to 5 touchdown to interception ratio while Gabbert has a 10 to 7, and guess what both quarterbacks have a rushing touchdown. Even their passer ratings are similar, Kaepernick's is 78.5 for the 2015 season while Gabbert is at an 86.2 however that is just .2 away from Kaepernick's 2014 passer rating.

Regardless, Kaepernick was still drafted as the 49ers franchise quarterback so hopefully he can overcome all of this adversity as well as his injuries and offseason surgeries to return to form for the 49ers. Gabbert should still play a backup role but no matter what the 49ers look like a prime candidate for a fresh young face at the QB position if Kaepernick continues to decline. 



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