"I think our team is building," Kaepernick said. "We're gradually picking up momentum. We're playing better and better."
Of course, last week, playing better wasn't enough. The 49ers went to take on the New York Giants and scored a season-high 27 points only to lose on a last-minute touchdown catch and throw from Eli Manning to Larry Donnell. Still, Kaepernick threw a pair of scores without an interception, as he did Sunday.
After throwing for 262 yards against New York, Kaepernick upped the ante, throwing for a season-best 340 yards on just 16 completions in Sunday's win over the Ravens, setting a new career mark with 12.6 yards per attempt.
It started early, with big plays to fullback Bruce Miller, who has a career-high 89-yards receiving out of the back field. Then, receivers Torrey Smith and Anquan Boldin began springing free against the Ravens defense that was committed to stacking the box and stopping running back Carlos Hyde.
And like in last week's loss to the Giants, "playing better" was almost not enough. Baltimore quarterback Joe Flacco had his offense on the 35-yard line with a chance to win the game with a hail marry as time expired, but San Francisco's secondary was able to bat the ball down to secure the win.
"We wanted to get him in a rhythm early," Boldin said. "Early on, we wanted to get the ball out of Kap’s hands, just let guys have one-on-one situations where we can make plays. Kap did a great job of seeing the field, giving guys opportunities. Guys made plays when we had to.”
Boldin finished with a team-high 102 yards on five catches, including a 51-yard grab to set up the decisive touchdown when Kaepernick found third receiver Quinton Patton all alone in the right side of the end zone after former 49ers cornerback Shareece Wright slipped on the play.
Kaepernick threw for 225 yards at halftime, when Miller made all three of his catches.
Smith scored his second touchdown longer than 70 yards on the season in the second quarter, when he beat Wright up the right sideline with a double move. His first came in Week 2's loss to the Steelers.
The Ravens didn't have any safety help over the top on the play, and played one-on-one on the outside for the majority of the day, which is something San Francisco was expecting.
"It’s the Ravens. They’re going to trust themselves," said Smith. "They have guys that can do it. They’re going to get pressure up front. So, we definitely expected that.”
Boldin's long catch came on second-and-21, when Kaepernick scrambled to his left allowing Boldin to run upfield. On the run, Kaepernick lofted the pass right over the defender's shoulder. Boldin was shaken up on the play. "I feel on top the ball. Knocked the wind out of myself so, I'm ok."
Three plays later, Patton scored to give San Francisco a two-score, 25-13 lead early in the fourth quarter.
Sunday's game was Boldin's second-straight 100-yard performance. In last week's loss to New York, he caught passes of 37 and 26 in the second half before while the 49ers scored the go-ahead touchdown with 1:45 to play on Hyde's two-yard run.
At 35, Boldin may not have the speed to separate from defenders. But Kaepernick still has confidence in the veteran receiver to make big plays down field.
"(Boldin has) very strong hands and just a competitive nature," Kaepernick said. "You put the ball up 99 out of a 100, he's going to come down with it. That give you great confidence as a quarterback to put one up and give him that opportunity."
The 49ers have a quick turnaround as they face the Seattle Seahawks Thursday night at Levi's Stadium.
Chris Biderman is the Editor-in-Chief of Niners Digest and covers the 49ers from their headquarters in Santa Clara. Chris has been writing about the team since the spring of 2013. The Ohio State alum received his Journalism degree in 2011 and has been working in sports media since 2008. Chris, a Santa Rosa, Calif. native, is also a contributor to the Associated Press covering sports throughout the Bay Area. You can follow Chris on Twitter here.
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