NFC West Q&A: Which quarterback gives the 49ers a better chance to win?

Today's question: Which quarterback gives the San Francisco 49ers a better chance to win: Colin Kaepernick or Blaine Gabbert?

Josh Weinfuss, Arizona Cardinals reporter: In Chip Kelly’s system, this answer is almost obvious: It’s Kaepernick. Gabbert is a fine pocket passer who can manage an offense and a game, but to run Kelly’s up-tempo offense, someone with Kaepernick’s athleticism is ideal. But Kaepernick is going to have to get used to Kelly’s pace. With Kaepernick on the field for nine games last season, the 49ers averaged 37.9 real seconds per play, compared to the Eagles’ 30.4, according to ESPN Stats & Information. Without Kaepernick, the Niners averaged 34.2 real seconds per play. Granted, San Francisco wasn't running an up-tempo offense, but the difference can be telling. Kaepernick’s quickness and athleticism, as well as the ability to get back to the line and keep the offense moving, will give the Niners a better chance than they'd have with Gabbert.

Nick Wagoner, Los Angeles Rams reporter: The Rams played against both QBs in 2015. They won by three touchdowns when Kaepernick was at the helm and lost by a field goal when Gabbert was the man. Gabbert threw for 354 yards in that season-ending victory, though of course, success against the Rams doesn’t equal long-term production as a starter against the entire league. There seems to be a faction of people who believe Chip Kelly can right the Kaepernick ship, and there’s little doubt that he is an intriguing fit in Kelly’s offense. But I think it has been underrated how Gabbert could fit in that offense too. He’s a pretty good athlete in his own right, and he proved to be a more accurate passer last season. Learning a sixth offensive scheme won’t make Gabbert’s life any easier, and the 49ers probably still need to find a long-term solution, but for now, Gabbert seems like the better bet to give San Francisco a chance in 2016.

Sheil Kapadia, Seattle Seahawks reporter: If the 49ers believe in their coaches’ ability to maximize talent on the roster, it’s Kaepernick. Chip Kelly has said in the past that the two qualities he values most in quarterbacks are decision-making and repetitive accuracy. From 2012 to 2014, Kaepernick’s interception rate of 1.9 percent was fourth-lowest in the NFL, behind only Aaron Rodgers, Alex Smith and Tom Brady. What doomed Kelly’s offenses in Philadelphia? A big issue was turnovers. The Eagles gave the ball away 65 times the past two seasons, more than any other team in the NFL. Kaepernick looked like a broken quarterback last season, but we’ve seen him be a good player at this level, which cannot be said for Gabbert. On many of Kelly’s run plays, the quarterback is responsible for accounting for an unblocked defender. But other than Michael Vick, Kelly never had a QB in Philadelphia who was a threat as a runner. Given how much trouble he had finding a quarterback in his first NFL stop, it would make sense for Kelly to see if he can resurrect Kaepernick’s career in 2016.