ST. Louis -- If Colin Kaepernick felt any particular pressure after the 49ers' last two disastrous performances, it didn't show Thursday night. At least it didn't to those who watched from afar.
"I know Colin, and I know him pretty well," tight end Vernon Davis said after the 49ers' 35-11 victory over NCF West rival St. Louis. "He has a lot of emotion, and he shows his emotions to us. He hides it for everybody else, but I see it.
"This game really mattered. It was important. If we had lost, Kap would have really been down on himself. Now he can go home, get a good night's rest and wake up feeling great tomorrow."
Kaepernick's numbers -- at least the ones usually cited to rate a quarterback's performance -- were not gaudy. He completed all of 15 passes in 23 attempts for 167 yards. Those 15 completions, though, included two touchdown passes: one of 20 yards to wide receiver Anquan Boldin that gave the 49ers their first lead; and 12 yards to Davis to stretch that lead to 21-3.
He also scrambled three times for 11 yards and escaped several near misses by keeping his cool in the face of Rams defenders chasing him.
The most important number might have been the number of interceptions: 0.
Kaepernick was certainly not sharing his emotions after the game. He answered questions in as few words as possible. He conceded the team showed a different level of focus and the reason was simple: "We knew we had to win."
Asked if the mounting criticism after a 1-2 start bothered him, Kaepernick demurred, "No, we know the talent we have on this team and what we're capable of."
Kaepernick was coming off two lackluster performances in which the offense looked woefully lost.
He gave notice early on that Thursday would be different. He led the 49ers to two touchdowns drives of 80 yards, one in seven plays and the other in eight as they held a 14-3 halftime lead, while building a tidy advantage in time of possession, by 3½ minutes.
He completed 8 of 12 passes for 104 yards -- 3 yards less than Frank Gore accumulated rushing -- and never appeared flustered in the opening 30 minutes.
Perhaps more telling was the fact the 49ers went three-and-out only one time in the first half, and that after an offensive pass interference penalty against Boldin. He compiled a 121.5 passer rating for the half and a 115.7 for the game.