Editor’s note: This is the second part in a series that spotlights three Chargers-49ers matchups to watch Saturday, 5:30 p.m., at Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara.
Chargers FS Eric Weddle vs. 49ers QB Colin Kaepernick
Tale of the tape
Weddle (32): 5 foot 11, 200 pounds, eighth season, Utah
Kaepernick (7): 6 foot 4, 230 pounds, fourth season, Nevada
The 49ers have been eliminated from playoff contention, and Kaepernick’s production has fallen dramatically from his first two seasons as the team’s starter. There is a lot of uncertainty about the future of the franchise, but Kaepernick’s development is the most-important factor for the 49ers in future seasons.
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It is too late to turn this season around, but if Kaepernick plays well to end the season, it could lead to some much-needed confidence heading into the offseason. Kaepernick has not thrown a touchdown pass in the fourth quarter of a game this season. His passer rating is a career-low 84.9, and he has just 16 touchdown passes and 10 interceptions.
Kaepernick faces a stiff challenge on Saturday, as he’ll be up against Weddle, one of the top safeties in the league. Weddle has one interception and eight passes broken up. He is also the main man in the Chargers secondary when it comes to making adjustments to remain one step ahead of the opposing quarterback.
“Their secondary is led back there by Weddle,” 49ers offensive coordinator Greg Roman said. “He’s the orchestra director, the conductor, the quarterback of the defense in the secondary. He’s a pretty unique guy.”