Colin Kaepernick started the 49ers' first eight games of 2015.
Blaine Gabbert started San Francisco's final eight games of the season.
Here is a look at how both fared with an equal sample size:
Team record: 2-6
Comp. pct.: 59.0
Rushing att.: 45
Rushing yards: 256
Rushing avg.: 5.7
Comp. pct.: 63.1
Rushing att.: 32
Rushing yards: 185
Rushing avg.: 5.8
Can we take an even deeper look at the two quarterbacks? Yes we can, thanks to Pro Football Focus.
The advanced NFL metrics website recently dished out its end-of-season numbers, and the results are telling.
Kaepernick received a -15.6 overall grade, good for 36th among quarterbacks. Gabbert checked in at -4.7, 28th in the league.
According to PFF, Kaepernick was pressured on 39.5 percent of his dropbacks (9th highest), compared to Gabbert's 37.6 percent (T-14th highest).
When pressured, Kaepernick was sacked 24.1 percent of the time (2nd highest), while Gabbert was brought down 20.2% of the time (7th highest).
Perhaps one reason why Kaepernick was sacked more under these circumstances: His "time from snap-to-release of attempted pass" (doesn't count sacks or scrambles) was 2.55 seconds -- 26th fastest.
On average, Gabbert got rid of the ball 2.38 seconds after the snap -- tied for the eighth fastest.
This could help explain why Gabbert was continuously asked about throwing too many "checkdowns."
“It’s all predicated on what the defense does,” Gabbert said on Dec. 22. “We’re not hitting checkdowns because we want to. It’s what they’re dictating us to do. If they have eight guys at the sticks, taking away our throws, it’s not good football to force it, especially in the first and second quarter."
Kaepernick registered a 44.3 rating when pressured, while Gabbert finished with a mark of 61.1.
Other takeaways from PFF's final grades:
- Joe Staley (+21.6) finished fifth in tackle rankings
- 49ers QBs had a 116.9 passer rating when targeting Torrey Smith
- Vance McDonald’s 14.3 percent drop rate ranked 36th out of 39 tight ends
- Ian Williams finished ninth among DT/NT with a +24.4 overall grade and sixth with a +23.9 grade vs. run
- Arik Armstead led Pass Rush Efficiency stat for 3-4 DEs with 200+ pass rush snaps with a 12.3 score, edging out J.J. Watt (12.0). Armstead had 38 QB pressures in 250 pass rush snaps
- Aaron Lynch finished fifth among 3-4 OLBs in Pass Rush Efficiency Stat (14.1 score) trailing only McPhee, Houston, Ware, and Miller
- NaVorro Bowman finished second among ILBs in run stops with 50 (D. Jackson 52)
- Bradley Pinion finished 25th out of 32 in punter rankings this year, but finished 10th with a touchback rate of 67.9 percent on kickoffs