2012 was the year that the “run-pass option” offense took the NFL by storm, featuring two incredibly elusive quarterbacks who were able to run it masterfully: Robert Griffin III of the Washington Redskins, and Colin Kaepernick of the San Francisco 49ers. Kaepernick took over as the starter for the 49ers midway through the 2012 season, leading the team to two playoff wins, and an appearance in XLVII (where they lost to the Baltimore Ravens). Kaepernick and the 49ers returned to the postseason in 2013 and won another playoff game, before losing to the eventual Super Bowl champion Seattle Seahawks.
Although he played well in those two postseasons, defensives quickly adjusted and started game planning for athletic run-option quarterbacks. With defenses more prepared to deal with his scrambling, Kaepernick was far less effective as a traditional pocket passer. His rise to the top was electric, but in the end, his success was more of a flash in the pan than a sustainable style of play.