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Grant Cohn: Colin Kaepernick's brilliance masks issues for 49ers

SANTA CLARA – Let's focus on the good after the 49ers' Week 1 win over the Packers, a very good team, probably not a great team.

<b>THE GOOD</b>

After just 11 starts, Colin Kaepernick probably is the best quarterback in the NFL. You could say he singlehandedly beat the Packers. His defense gave up 28 points, he had no rushing attack and still he put on one of the best passing performances in franchise history. He made Anquan Boldin look like Jerry Rice.

San Francisco 49ers vs. Green Bay Packers

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Kaepernick made up for 11 penalties, eight missed tackles and Jim Harbaugh's time-consuming play-calling system which puts Kaepernick and the 49ers' offense up against the clock on almost every play. Kaepernick's sheer brilliance masks almost every area of concern on the 49ers' roster.

Perhaps "area of concern" is too strong. With Kaepernick, the 49ers are one of the best teams in the league. But he has to mask a few things that could prevent the 49ers from winning the Super Bowl this season.

Now, let's monitor what Kaepernick is masking. You can bet the 49ers and their opponents are monitoring these things as well.

<b>THE RUNNING GAME</b>

The 49ers didn't have one on Sunday. The Packers made sure Kaepernick didn't run, and then they stuffed Frank Gore like a teddy bear, holding him to 44 yards on 21 carries.

Harbaugh didn't seem concerned about his rushing attack at his Monday morning press conference. "They were playing it to stop the run," he said, "and then we passed."

Fair enough, but this isn't a one-game slump for Gore. Over the past 13 games, he's averaged 3.8 yards per carry, below average for an NFL running back and almost a full yard per carry worse than his career average of 4.6. He's 30 years old, so it's tough to imagine Gore reversing this trend.


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