You name it, there’s no debating that two of the NFL’s top young, strong-armed quarterbacks — with their speedy legs and running ability to boot — will be on display today, each trying to keep his team on a nice roll.
The football world is watching this one with high interest. Kaepernick could easily stand in for Newton on the 49ers’ scout team this week.
“That’s a very good idea because they are so similar,” coach Jim Harbaugh said. “My son, Jack Harbaugh, who’s now a little over 14 months old, I mean, on the [growth] curve, he’s above the 100th percentile now. He’s big, growing very well. Cam Newton would be further outside the graph. He’s in a world by himself. He’s tremendously talented.”
Yes, these mobile quarterbacks present an awful lot of similarities. They are a key reason their teams are riding long winning streaks at the season’s halfway point, too.
The 49ers (6-2) have won five straight games since dropping two in a row in Weeks 2 and 3, scoring 31 or more points in each of those victories. Newton’s Panthers (5-3) are unbeaten in their last four games and have scored 30 or more points in their five wins.
Both teams are in second place in their divisions and trying to make a run.
In a 34-10 win against Atlanta last week, Newton threw for 249 yards and ran for a touchdown.
Sound a little familiar, San Francisco?
“We have similar attributes but we’re both two different players,” Kaepernick said.
Kaepernick and Newton were roommates at the scouting combine in 2011, then Newton was drafted No. 1 overall out of Auburn and Kaepernick dropped to the 49ers in the second round as the sixth quarterback selected at 36th.
“He’s an explosive player and a dominant player and I’ve kept up with him ever since,” Newton said. “I have respect for him and I think he does for me.”
Panthers wide receiver Ted Ginn Jr. knows his share about both QBs. He played for the 49ers last season when Kaepernick took over as the starter in November from Alex Smith.
“They both have something a lot people don’t have, and they use it: speed,” Ginn said.