SANTA CLARA, Calif. – Colin Kaepernick has accomplished a lot so far as the San Francisco 49ers’ starting quarterback.
But he still hasn’t beaten the Seattle Seahawks.
He can change that Sunday against the team that has handed Kaepernick the two most lopsided losses of his starting career.
Russell Wilson has outplayed Kaepernick both times in the budding competition between two of the NFL’s most dynamic young quarterbacks who lead the way in the rivalry between the NFC West’s top two teams.
But Kaepernick has something more pressing on his mind this week than any individual comparisons or matchups with Wilson.
“I don’t worry about things like that,” he said. “I’m worried about the next game that’s on our schedule.”
That’s Sunday when Seattle comes to town for a game the 49ers (8-4) have to win to prevent the Seahawks (11-1) from ending San Francisco’s two-year run as NFC West champions.
Seattle can clinch its first division title since 2010 with a victory.
The 49ers got good news Friday when Pro Bowl left tackle Joe Staley (sprained knee) practiced for the second consecutive day and said he “fully expects to play” against Seattle.
Staley said Friday it would take more than a sprained knee to keep him out against the Seahawks.
“It’s just intense,” Staley said. “We don’t like them. They don’t like us. I don’t have a magic answer for why it’s so intense, but it’s a physical game every time we play. There’s some bad blood there, and it’s gotten worse for a variety of things.”
The similarities between Kaepernick and Wilson have become a sideshow to the rivalry between two of the NFL’s top teams.
Both players have strong throwing arms and present a dual threat with their ability to run and escape from the pocket.
Wilson ranks third among quarterbacks with 456 yards rushing and Kaepernick is fifth with 376 yards. Both rank among the league’s top 10 in average yards per pass play.
“They’re two great young quarterbacks, both very talented,” 49ers coach Jim Harbaugh said. “They stand in there and deliver.”
Wilson has done that better so far in the head-to-head matchups between the two quarterbacks.
Wilson threw four touchdown passes in Seattle’s 42-13 rout of the 49ers last December in Seattle. He then had one TD pass and 33 yards rushing as the Seahawks topped San Francisco again 29-3 on Sept. 15. Kaepernick had a career-high three interceptions and a career-low 20.1 passer rating in the latter game at Seattle.