This week's Friday edition of our NFL Google+ hangout -- "NFL Slam with Mark and Sam," starring Times NFL columnist Sam Farmer and Mark Thompson of "Mark and Brian" radio fame -- will start at 11:30 a.m. today on this blog post and will cover a host of topics.
"Saturday, the 49ers and Packers will meet for the sixth time in the postseason, with Green Bay holding a 4-1 edge in the previous playoff games.
"Facing the Packers is especially meaningful for 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick, who was born in Milwaukee and lived in Fond du Lac, Wis., before moving to California at 4. He was a Packers fan as a kid, and a Brett Favre fan in particular.
"He was just a playmaker," Kaepernick said. "He wasn't afraid to take chances. He was passionate about the game and he was going to do anything he could to help his team win."
Now, Kaepernick has the chance to do the same in the biggest game of his career. The choice to switch to Kaepernick is more evidence that Coach Jim Harbaugh is anything but risk-averse."
Kaepernick, a second-round pick of the 49ers in 2011, got the starting nod as a fill-in for Smith, who had suffered a concussion against St. Louis. In the eight quarters that preceded that injury, Smith completed 32 of 35 passes for 385 yards with five touchdowns, an interception, and a passer rating of 140.2. In other words, he had more touchdowns than incomplete passes.
"NFL Slam with Mark and Sam" is usually held every Monday and Friday at 11:30 a.m. You can watch it on this blog post. If you have questions for Mark and Sam, email them to email@example.com and we will try to get them answered live during the chat.