After setting an NFL record for rushing yards by a quarterback with 181 in the win over the Green Bay Packers last week, Colin Kaepernick of the San Francisco 49ers has become the focal point of the Atlanta Falcons defense heading into the NFC Championship game on Sunday.
Following Kaepernick’s record-setting performance, it became clear to the Falcons’ defense that containing the second-year quarterback may be the best way to beat the 49ers. Kaepernick is likely full of confidence after his amazing performance against the Packers and ready to play for a chance at advancing to the Super Bowl, but so is linebacker Sean Weatherspoon.
Weatherspoon talked about containing Kaepernick and the Falcons’ defense embracing the challenge via Kareem Copeland of NFL.com:
“Love hearing we can’t stop Kaepernick,” linebacker Sean Weatherspoon told San Francisco Chronicle reporter Vic Tafur. “We want the challenge and look forward to it. It will be fun.”
The Falcons may have been the number one seed in the NFC coming into the postseason and only loss three games during the regular season, but Atlanta hasn’t been known as a force defensively in the process. There’s no doubting that the Falcons deserve to be in their current position with only win separating an appearance in the Super Bowl, but defense hasn’t been the team’s strong point with offensively firepower one of the main reasons for the team’s success.
Although Weatherspoon appears ready and motivated to take on the challenge of containing Kaepernick on Sunday, the Falcons’ best pass rusher will be nowhere near 100 percent with defensive end John Abraham dealing with an ankle injury.
Abraham re-injured his ankle in last week’s win over the Seattle Seahawks playing in only the first half as a result. The veteran defensive end has been adamant about playing on Sunday and is expected to do so, but might not last long with the ailing ankle.