Through the 49ers' first eight games, Colin Kaepernick was sacked 28 times.
On Sunday against the Falcons, Blaine Gabbert wasn't sacked at all.
"He's (Gabbert) not as explosive an athlete, clearly, as Colin Kaepernick, but he's a better functional mover for the quarterback position and those are two different things," Greg Cosell explained on KNBR 680-AM on Monday night. "Being an explosive straight-line athlete is not necessarily a quarterback trait. Being a functional mover is, and there were a number of plays in which he did that."
On a 3rd and 6 play late in the first quarter, Gabbert felt the pressure up the middle, slid to his right, kept his eyes downfield and delivered a nice throw on the move to Quinton Patton, who picked up 41 yards.
Early in the second quarter, Gabbert showed his elusiveness when he avoided a sack, regained his balance and just missed running for a touchdown when his knee hit short of the goal line on a dive attempt (he spiked the ball thinking he scored).
There were other plays in which Gabbert moved within the pocket, avoided pressure, and produced with either his arm or legs.
It is important to keep in mind that the Falcons defense has only registered 10 sacks, which is the second fewest in the NFL.
"The issue that he (Gabbert) always had was with pressure," Cosell explained. "Now in this game, and they were playing a team in the Falcons that does not have any kind of consistent pass rush, he was not really under any kind of consistent pressure...
"... There will be an opponent that can put pressure on him and that will be the true litmus test is how he handles pressure in the pocket. But if he's fairly clean, fairly secure, has functional space with which to throw the ball, he has the DNA of a pocket quarterback."
On Monday, Jim Tomsula announced that Gabbert would start again when the 49ers face Seattle on Nov. 22.
The Seahawks are tied for 11th with 20 sacks over eight games, and brought Kaepernick down six times in their 20-3 win over the 49ers in Week 7.