The Falcons' defense has reason to worry about the matchup. Atlanta survived its 30-28 divisional playoff win over Seattle last week despite Wilson's fourth-quarter dominance. The Falcons led 27-7 at the start of the quarter but trailed 28-27 before winning on Matt Bryant's late 49-yard field goal.
Wilson passed for 385 yards with two touchdowns and led Seattle with 60 yards rushing and a touchdown.
Falcons coach Mike Smith said he is preparing for the 49ers' “traditional offense that we're used to seeing” as well as the pistol formation with read-option plays that Kaepernick ran in college at Nevada.
“We're going to have to be prepared to stop him,” Smith said. “We're going to see things we haven't seen in terms of what they'll do with their formations.”
Wilson found open room when he took off on long runs after first looking to pass. Falcons safety Thomas DeCoud said Kaepernick shows more determination to run.
“With Kaepernick, I think once he tucks the ball he's looking to run,” DeCoud said. “There will be a few rare instances where he has his eyes looking downfield. More times than not, if he's dropping back and tucks the ball, he's taking off to run where Russell, he had his head up looking downfield and wasn't really looking to cross the line of scrimmage. He was just trying to buy time for his guys to get open.”
Kaepernick's big game last week earned him the promise of more attention from the Falcons defense.
“We definitely have to have somebody accounting for him,” DeCoud said, adding defensive backs have to be ready to leave their assignments to help contain Kaepernick's runs.
“Last week we kind of bought into plastering the receivers if (Wilson) broke containment because of the fact he likes to find the open receivers,” DeCoud said. “This week, we'll have to be cognizant of maybe coming off coverage if he crosses the line of scrimmage to thwart him making a big play on us.”
Falcons linebacker Mike Peterson said the one obstacle Kaepernick can't dodge with his speed is inexperience. Sunday's game will be Kaepernick's first playoff game on the road.
“You've got to get in his mind and change the looks up on him,” Peterson said. “He's a great quarterback, doing a lot of good things for his team, but the common denominator is that he's still a young quarterback.
“He can't run from that.”