Why this game is intriguing: Even before Colin Kaepernick threw the Bay Area into flux by performing so well that coach Jim Harbaugh was forced to consider him a possible starter, this one caught our eye. Even before a concussion threatened to turn Alex Smith into Alex Pipp, this was high on our radar. And then Kaepernick went 16-of-23 for 243 yards with two touchdowns against the vaunted Chicago Bears defense, adding serious intrigue to what was already one of the NFL's best-stocked teams. As if the Niners needed a dynamic, play-making quarterback to go with their stout run game and tough-as-nails defense. The simple question of who starts under center for San Francisco makes this a must-see. Oh, and did we mention that the Saints are playing as well as anyone right now? That they have long since drop-kicked that 0-4 start to win five of their last six, nosing themselves into the playoff hunt and flashing the possibility of a stunning turnaround? Never mind that this is also a rematch of last year's roller coaster of a divisional-round playoff game -- that storyline barely merits a mention, because the others are so enticing.
Published: Nov 21, 2012 at 06:18 AM
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