Preview: San Francisco 49ers at Atlanta Falcons

3 p.m., WTTG-5, WBFF-45, 49ers by 4
San Francisco 12-4-1, Atlanta 14-3

Key matchup: 49ers QB Colin Kaepernick vs. Falcons’ front seven.

Kaepernick set an NFL record for single-game rushing yards by a quarterback last week and scored two touchdowns in a 45-31 victory over the Green Bay Packers. The Falcons, meantime, permitted 60 rushing yards and a touchdown to Seattle QB Russell Wilson. If Kaepernick gets past the first wave of Atlanta defenders consistently, the Falcons will be at a considerable disadvantage.

When the 49ers have the ball: Kaepernick’s emergence as a top quarterback has allowed WR Michael Crabtree to develop as well. Throw in dependable RB Frank Gore and the 49ers have one of the more balanced attacks in the league.

When the Falcons have the ball: The Falcons have the NFL’s best wide receiver tandem in Roddy White and Julio Jones, each of whom can beat single coverage. With the 49ers figuring to devote plenty of attention to the two wideouts, TE Tony Gonzalez could factor heavily in the offense this week. So could RBs Michael Turner and Jacquizz Rodgers, who has breakaway speed.

- Gene Wang

lavar arrington’s pick: 49ers

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