Tune in at 4:25 PM ET as the 49ers take on the Saints. Rob Sturney will be liveblogging for your enjoyment.
I'm Rob Sturney here with The Score's continuing coverage of the NFL. Today we've got a cracker for you: the 49ers versus the resurgent Saints. And, yes, Kaepernick is starting for Frisco.
Enough that the 49ers are going to want to not only maximize that top rated run game, but also compliment it with good passing.
He suffered a concussion versus St. Louis a couple of weeks ago. Kaep started last week in the win over the Bears and Harbaugh has given him the nod today. Smith is cleared to play, but not the starter.
Kaepernick went 16 for 23 last week versus an oddly porous Bears defense for 243 yards and two touchdowns.
In his first start Kaepernick had more yards, completed more passes and threw as many TD's as Joe Montana and Steve Young together on their debuts.
The Saints have the 2nd ranked passing game, but have the 31st ranked passing defense and worst rushing D in the league.
The 49ers, on the other hand, own the best run offense and 27th ranked pass game, with the 2nd pass defense and 6th run D.
The Saints are 3rd in the NFC South. Today the Falcons shaded the Buccaneers in that division.
Seattle was edged by Miami, and the 49ers keep the lead in the NFC West.
New Orleans faces the Falcons next while San Francisco heads off to St. Louis to play the Rams again.
Harbaugh's charges will want to score first: they're 6-1 this season when they strike first. Otherwise they're 1-1-1.
Two fellows who'll have their hands full today for the Saints are the tackles Stief and Bushrod, who must contend with Aldon Smith, coming off a 5.5 sack game. Smith already has more sacks (15) than he had last season (14). The other outside linebacker Brooks has four sacks.
One thing is sure: Colston, Graham, Moore and Henderson are going to keep the Frisco safeties Whitner and Goldson, along with corners Rogers and Brown, busy. Goldson is carrying a rib injury.
Boy howdy, this should be a ding-dong of a matchup. The Saints started the season 0-4 and then have won five out of six since. The 49ers look slick as snot on a doorknob most weeks, but rather ordinary once in a while.
Falcons look tough and weathered the storm in Tampa today.
There we go. I was waiting on a Who dat? but Big G's cheer is a classic as well.
We're about five minutes from the kick off in the Big Easy.
There we go - we're all balanced out for cheers.
Yes, in that NFC playoff game last season, the Saints had five turnovers and the 49ers needed them all. That was an entertaining contest.
Now, Sproles will be playing today for the Saints, but defensive end Galette has been ruled out.
Gore has a sore wrist, Moss a tender finger and both Willis and Smith are nursing shoulder injuries for the 49ers.
Oh yes, the New Orleans fans just did the Who Dat? cheer.
Saints will receive the kickoff from Akers. Cadet or Sproles to grab it.
Cadet ran it out to the 25 yard line. Saints are going from left to right. Brees had to avoid Sopoaga but hits the tight end Thomas for a gain of two.
NO 2nd and 8: Brees delivers to Ingram but Smith crunches him at the line of scrimmage.
NO 3rd and 8: Brees in the gun. He dumps towards Thomas but only hits artificial turf. It'll be three and out, Morstead to punt.
Ginn is clobbered at the 30 after picking up 10.