Coach Jim Harbaugh made the announcement Wednesday that Kaepernick would go over Alex Smith after the second-year pro led the NFC West-leading Niners (8-2-1) to victories in the past two games, his first two NFL starts.
He says, "Colin we believe has the hot hand."
Kaepernick has completed 48 of 74 passes for 680 yards and three touchdowns with one interception and was sacked six times. He has a 102.3 passer rating.
Smith, the 2005 No. 1 overall draft pick, hardly looked happy on the sideline during Sunday's win over the Saints after being medically cleared from a concussion suffered in the first half of a 24-24 tie against St. Louis on Nov. 11.