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49ers vs. Saints 2012: Kaepernick, defense comes up big

Colin Kaepernick and the San Fransisco 49ers defense went on the road and stopped the streaking New Orleans Saints.

Stacy Revere

Colin Kaepernick didn't exactly outduel Drew Brees on the road, but he didn't need to. The San Fransisco 49ers defense dominated and Kaepernick made key plays to earn a win in his second start over the New Orleans Saints.

In the win, Kapernick displayed the skills that garnered him the nod over quarterback Alex Smith, often escaping the Saints pass rush and eluding sacks. Kaepernick finished with 27 rushing yards, including a 7-yard touchdown run, but his 231 yards in the air were just as impressive, according to Niners Nation:

Colin Kaepernick deserves a ton of credit for coming into an incredibly hostile atmosphere and putting together a solid performance. He made his share of mistakes, including the interception and struggling with the crowd noise, but he made quite a few plays that I think most of us agree Alex Smith would not have attempted.

The second-year player also showed poise late in the game with multiple third-down conversions to keep the clock running and the explosive Saints offense on the sidelines.

On the defensive end, the 49ers scored on two interception returns and sacked Brees five times. Even when San Fransisco didn't get to Brees, it often got in the New Orleans backfield and made clean passing lanes hard to come by.

With the victory, the 49ers remain unbeaten in their last five games and end the Saints three-game winning streak.