Poll: Which QB Should 49ers Start In Week 6?

In Blaine Gabbert, Colin Kaepernick and Christian Ponder, the 49ers have three quarterbacks who were high picks in the 2011 draft, yet the 1-4 club finds itself in an unenviable position under center. Gabbert and Ponder, both of whom were first-rounders, have never lived up to their respective draft choices. Conversely, Kaepernick has his share of accomplishments since the 49ers used a second-rounder on him, but the 28-year-old’s effectiveness has fallen off in recent seasons.

Blaine Gabbert

Just as he did in Jacksonville, where he spent the first three seasons of his career, Gabbert is failing in San Francisco. Gabbert won the starting job over the summer, but he’s now at risk of losing the role thanks to his substandard output thus far. After the 49ers’ 33-21 loss to the Cardinals on Thursday, when Gabbert completed 18-of-31 passes for 162 yards, a touchdown and an interception, head coach Chip Kelly left the door open for a change at quarterback.

The assumption is that Kaepernick will grab the reins if Kelly demotes Gabbert, but multiple 49ers offensive players have told Matt Maiocco of CSNBayArea.com that they’d like Ponder to take over. The 12th selection in his draft class (two picks after Gabbert), Ponder garnered plenty of experience with the Vikings from 2011-14, though he didn’t exactly light it up. In 38 appearances (36 starts), Ponder completed a below-average 59.8 percent of passes, averaged an underwhelming 6.3 yards per attempt, and tossed 38 touchdowns against 36 picks in Minnesota. Those numbers are almost identical to the totals Gabbert has posted during his 42-appearance, 40-start career (56.3 completion percentage, 6.0 YPA, 38 TDs versus 37 INTs).

It’s clear that Kaepernick, who lost his job to Gabbert last year as he battled injuries and a decline in performance, has the best credentials of any 49ers quarterback. But his days as a quality option may have concluded with his season-ending interception in the 49ers’ 23-17 NFC title game loss to Seattle in January 2014. The once-electrifying dual threat has been mediocre to worse since, though it might be worthwhile for the Kelly to see if he can help the sixth-year man recapture the form he showed off in his first season and a half at the Niners’ helm. Of course, it’s questionable whether Kaepernick is physically ready to get back on the field after surgeries to his left knee, left shoulder and right thumb stopped him from experiencing a normal offseason.

The offensive-minded Kelly previously drew career-best performances from Nick Foles, Mark Sanchez and Sam Bradford in Philadelphia, but it doesn’t appear he’ll do the same with Gabbert in San Francisco. Kelly has two other (flawed) choices on hand, though, and with extra time to prepare for the 49ers’ Week 6 visit to Buffalo, a shakeup could happen.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

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16 comments on “Poll: Which QB Should 49ers Start In Week 6?

  1. Lydell

    Why would u start a ponder…you guys have no real football knowledge,for real..that’s crazy to think it will get better with ponder..smh…but i understand half of you never played a sport past little league…Kap is our best option,really..an he will perform,he is ready now…plus he wants to show the next team ,that takes him that he’s worth the money…

    • jimbenwal

      “Plus he wants to show the next team that takes him that he’s worth the money”
      I am pretty sure that every most players,including Gabbert, try to prove that they should be in the NFL every time they take the field. If wanting to play well is all it took to be a good quarterback then let me play. I want to show a team I am worth it…

    • Roger Mayweather

      So because you played high school football, you’re much more versed in football knowledge. Got it, coach.

    • snekul

      You all are in love with 2012 Crapernick just like I’m in love with 88 Montana! I got news neither is coming back

    • tylerall5

      I do not like Kap. I would go out and ask a homeless person if he wanted to play just so Kap never sees the field again.

  2. Pj Of The Niner Faithful

    Everybody that wants to see Ponder only want to see him because of his preseason performance. Where he played third string street players

    • snekul

      Yup just like Crapernick who played SD scrubs

  3. Skol72

    Chip Kelly is the head coach!!! its not the Quarterbacks on the roster ( none of which would be a starter anywhere else except maybe cleveland) its the system. it straight u9 didnt work in Philly and it sure as hell isnt going to work in San Fran. His players will quit on him and it is already showing. I would be suprised if he is still the head coach going into next season. you can put him next to Spurrier on the list of college coaches not to make it in the NFL. Chip Kelly is not respected by his players due to the system that they will never buy into.

    • Chips System

      Did you know last year the eagles dropped the most passes in the league? They dropped 37 freaking passes! I reiterate 37!! Is that the systems fault? They were 7-9 last year. You cut those dropped passes in half very well might be 10-6 again our even 11-5.

  4. Skol72

    oh!!! and Ponder is horrible. accuracy is subpar and arm strength is non existent. the only achievement Ponder has done since coming into the NFL, is to hook up with his wife Samantha the sideline reporter and im not sure that should even be considered an achievement

    • cuban1

      Ponder may have no arm strength and subpar accuracy, but where has kaeps “cannon” got him aside from errant throws and injured trainers. On top of that, I’d be willing to bet that ponder and gabbert can at least read a defense.

  5. ripperlv

    Let’s see, hmm Ponder, Gabbert, or piece of Krap, lol, hahaha, u-hoo, glad I’m a SeaHawk man!!!

  6. phillyoakman

    who cares! Chip and the niners suck.

    • DarkGhost

      Exactly, this debate is pointless. They want to sub out a bad apple for a rotten tomato.

  7. Steve

    49er’s need a scapegoat.. Gabbert will be the fall guy.. The team sucks… but please don’t play the Cop Hater… anti-American White People Hater..unfortunately racist people from all ethnic groups.. Lots of “White” people died for all people’s rights… “All Lives Matter”.. but hate sales in America… Don’t want him on the field..

  8. Really

    Steve, excuse me lots of people died for people rights in America not just white people. That’s the point! You said all lives matter but you only gave credit to whites for the success of the country, proving the point being placed in front of you. Injustice to one race is injustice for all races.

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