Colin Kaepernick is one of the most uniquely talented quarterbacks in the NFL today, but the 49ers signal-caller is unpolished in some aspects of his game.
The stats reflect that Kaepernick is a much more effective player when his team has the lead, according to numbers from NFL writer Rich Hribar.
Colin Kaepernick is a passer built for positive game flow and it's reflected in his splits per game scenario... pic.twitter.com/3YzXuBtAQV— Rich Hribar (@LordReebs) June 1, 2015
The 49ers quarterback has scored 33 of his 50 career passing touchdowns when tied or leading (66 percent of TDs).
His completion percentage, as well as touchdown-interception ratio, also takes a dramatic hit as the 49ers trail later in games.
Kaepernick, in addition, has led just eight fourth-quarter comebacks over his career (two in 2012, three in 2013, three in 2014). He has just as many game-winning drives (two in 2012, four in 2013, two in 2014).
A fourth-quarter comeback is defined by Pro Football Reference as "an offensive scoring drive in the 4th quarter, with the team trailing by one score, though not necessarily a drive to take the lead. Only games ending in a win or tie are included."
A game-winning drive is defined as "an offensive scoring drive in the 4th quarter or overtime that puts the winning team ahead for the last time."
Six of Kaepernick's fourth-quarter comebacks and game-winning drives occurred in the same game. The 49ers defeated Atlanta (28-24, 1/20/2013), Green Bay (34-28, 9/8/2013), Seattle (19-17, 12/8/2013), Green Bay (23-20, 1/5/2014), Kansas City (22-17, 10/5/2014) and Washington (17-13, 11/23/2014).
In the wins against Atlanta, Seattle, the second against Green Bay, Kansas City and Washington, Kaepernick only threw one touchdown all game. Most of the wins were spearheaded by then-49ers running back Frank Gore, who scored to initiate the comeback victories.
Placekicker Phil Dawson also lent significant support.
Atlanta: Falcons were up 24-14, but Frank Gore scored two rushing touchdowns to give the 49ers a 28-24 win.
Seattle: Seahawks were up 17-16, before Gore ripped off a 51-yard run to get into Seattle territory, setting up the game-winning field goal from Phil Dawson.
Green Bay: Packers were up 17-13, but Kaepernick delivered a 28-yard strike to Vernon Davis to retake the lead. The Packers answered with a Mason Crosby field goal, but Dawson answered right back in the 49ers' win.
Kansas City: Kaepernick threw one first-half touchdown, as it was Phil Dawson who hit five field goals to lead the 49ers to a 22-17 win.
Washington: Washington was up 13-10, but Carlos Hyde rammed home a touchdown to give the 49ers the victory.
While Kaepernick was behind center during the fourth-quarter comebacks/game-winning drives, his surrounding cast had a great deal to do with the outcomes.