San Francisco 49ers’ starting quarterback Colin Kaepernick (7) throws against the Arizona Cardinals in the third quarter at Candlestick Park in San
San Francisco 49ers' starting quarterback Colin Kaepernick (7) throws against the Arizona Cardinals in the third quarter at Candlestick Park in San Francisco on Sunday, Dec. 30, 2012. (Nhat V. Meyer/Staff)

SANTA CLARA -- Colin Kaepernick is approaching his playoff debut Saturday against as if it's just "another game," but the 49ers quarterback did admit that there is "more at stake."

Saturday night's playoff opener between the No. 2-seed 49ers (11-4-1) and No. 3 Packers (12-5) will kick off at 5 p.m.

Kaepernick has posted a 5-2 record since replacing Alex Smith as the 49ers' starting quarterback.

"The way he handles it day to day is very mature," offensive coordinator Greg Roman said of this game's preparation. "I don't think you're going to see any big eyes."

In completing 136 of 218 passes for 1,814 yards, Kaepernick averaged 8.3 yards per attempt, which would have led the NFL if only he attempted six more passes. Kaepernick accounted for 15 touchdowns this season, 10 by passing and five by running. He had only three interceptions (1.4 percent of his attempts).

Those numbers pale in comparison to those of Packers counterpart Aaron Rodgers, who passed for 4,295 yards with 39 touchdowns and eight interceptions in the regular season.

"Aaron Rodgers is a great quarterback," Kaepernick said. "You see what he does on the field and performances he's having. You can't say enough about the guy."


Advertisement

Kaepernick has never met Rodgers, but he is familiar studying the Packers' defense. He watched the Packers' wild-card win Saturday night at home, and he's since studied that film several more times.

"They have a lot of different looks, a lot different of things they can do, a lot of playmakers," Kaepernick said. "They're going to try and cause turnovers."

In the 49ers' season-opening, 30-22 win at Green Bay, Kaepernick made a brief cameo with a 17-yard run.

"That was my first time being on my field in a significant moment," Kaepernick recalled.

Roman said Kaepernick is "very in tune" with this week's game plan, and so is Smith.

"Alex has been mentoring him through the whole season, week to week, day to day," Roman said. "He's always giving feedback in meetings, and there's great communication there.

"Alex is as professional as you can get. Alex himself is getting ready for this game. They are lock step in their preparation."

For more on the 49ers, see Cam Inman's Hot Read blog at blogs.mercurynews.com/49ers. Follow him on Twitter at twitter.com/CamInman.