49ers (12-4-1) at Falcons (14-3)
LINE: SAN FRANCISCO BY 4
On Nov. 19, the Chicago Bears visited San Francisco. The 49ers were a 6 1/2-point favourite until midday when it was announced that Niners quarterback Alex Smith was a scratch and that backup Colin Kaepernick would start. The line immediately began to plummet, closing at San Fran -3 1/2. What a steal for those that bought Chicago at +6 1/2, going against some guy whose name sounded more like a rye bread than an NFL quarterback. Or so they thought. The 49ers went on to clobber Da Bears by a 32-7 count and, more importantly, the Kaepernick era had an unexpected start. After watching the young pivot shred the Green Bay Packers last week with both his feet and arm, the entire football world is going gaga over the second-year player out of Nevada. We get that. It appears that Kaepernick has the tools and savvy to stick around for a while. But is his time right now?