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Shutdown Corner

Falcons defense dominates the first quarter against Colin Kaepernick as Atlanta grabs big early lead

Frank Schwab
Shutdown Corner

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(USA Today Sports Images)

Atlanta's passing game having a big first quarter was a small surprise, but not a total shock. What the Falcons defense did to start the game is something nobody saw coming.

Atlanta held San Francisco to minus-2 yards in the first quarter. San Francisco quarterback Colin Kaepernick, who was great against Green Bay a week ago, couldn't even get his team a first down in the first quarter.

Atlanta threw some different looks at San Francisco, including a zone blitz that seemed to confuse Kaepernick because he threw a pass right to Falcons defensive lineman Corey Peters, who dropped it. Peters finished that series by beating All-Pro left guard Mike Iupati for a sack.

[Also: Florio: Where will Alex Smith land next season?]

Here were San Francisco's first six plays: A quick pass to Michael Crabtree that was stuffed for 1 yard, a rush up the middle by Frank Gore that got nothing, a pass to Vernon Davis that was batted away, the almost interception to Peters, a 6-yard run by Gore and the Peters sack. That's the entire first quarter for the 49ers offense.

With Julio Jones' incredible touchdown catch on the first play of the second quarter, the 49ers trailed 17-0. Playing in a loud dome against a fired-up Falcons defense won't help Kaepernick get back on track.

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