Colin Kaepernick won’t be hurting for weapons this year, which may be why San Francisco decided to give him a massive contract extension prior to the season. So will this be a career year for the young quarterback? Even if he plays well, he may not throw for 4,000 yards due to game script; after all, the 49ers held an average lead 5.9 points last year, and as a result, the team ranked 31st in pass attempts. San Francisco figures to be excellent again, but Kaepernick should produce very strong efficiency numbers in 2014. Assuming they all stay healthy and make the roster, check out the quintet of weapons Kaepernick will have at his disposal:
- Anquan Boldin was dominant for San Francisco last year, and 2013 marked the sixth time in his career he’s topped the 1,000-yard mark. He maxed out with a 1,402-yard season with Arizona in 2005.
- Michael Crabtree was limited to just five games after recoving from a torn Achilles, but he recorded 1,105 yards on a run-heavy 49ers team in 2012.
- Steve Johnson had 1,000-yard seasons in 2010, 2011, and 2012 (with a high of 1,073 in ’10) with the Bills, but will be a 49er in 2014.
- Tight end Vernon Davis has actually never had a 1,000-yard year, but he did gain 965 yards and score 13 touchdowns in 2009.
- Brandon Lloyd may not even make the roster, but the man drafted by San Francisco 11 years ago has seen some success in between his stops with the 49ers. Two years ago, he gained 911 yards for the Patriots, and in 2010, he led the league with 1,448 receiving yards while playing in Denver.
As of a year ago, only eight teams in NFL history had ever fielded a roster with five players who gained 1,000 receiving yards in a season at some point in their careers. But none of those teams entered a season with five former 1,000-yard receivers: for each of those teams, at least one of the five players had a 1,000-yard season at some point in the future.
But the 2014 49ers would only become the second team to enter a season with five players who had previously gained at least 965 receiving yards in a season. Can you guess the first?
Let’s go with a bonus round of trivia. This one’s a bit trickier.
Only one other team has had five players who previously recorded a 900-receiving yard season.