Originally posted on Cippin on Sports  |  Last updated 1/16/13
With one of the greatest playoff weekends in the books, we now look forward to Championship weekend. We start with the NFC as the San Francisco 49ers travel to take on the Atlanta Falcons in a matchup of the top two seeds. Can Matt Ryan lead Atlanta to unknown territory? Or will Colin Kaepernick continue to make Jim Harbaugh look like a genius? On Sunday, we will find all this out. But, in the meantime, here’s my take on it. NFC Championship: January 20th. 3:00pm in Atlanta, Georgia San Francisco 49ers @ Atlanta Falcons Matt Ryan has finally lifted the playoff monkey off his back. Although he waited until the final thirty seconds, he still has won his first playoff game. Few things in football are more exciting than watching a team drive down the field and score a game-winning touchdown or kick a game-winning field goal. That is when legacies are created. Tom Brady, Adam Vinateri, Peyton Manning, Eli Manning. These guys, to name a few, have made a name for themselves for thriving when the game is on the line, specifically in the playoffs. Ryan, who led the Falcons on a remarkable drive to win on Sunday, is not quite in this category. But, he’s close. The Falcons have won seven games this season by 7 or fewer points and Ryan has certainly been the catalyst in leading them on the game-winning drives. The Falcons have won seven games this season, including the playoffs, on game-winning drive in the 4th quarter or overtime. And now he’s done it in the playoffs. Against the 6th best passing defense. However, the 49ers are a whole different defense to conquer. 4th best pass defense in the league and they have a scary pass rush to handle. San Francisco boasts six players on their defense that were named to the Pro Bowl this year. Additionally, San Francisco can win games on the road, whereas Seattle struggled on the road this season. This is a 49ers team with playoff experience too. They have a taste of what it’s like to be almost there. And they have that sour taste of losing the NFC Championship still lingering from last January. Most of those guys are back and hungrier than before. They do have a new quarterback under center but as he showed last week, Colin Kaepernick is not scared of anything or anyone. Not scared of the Green Bay Packers. Not scared of being opposite Aaron Rodgers. Not scared of his first game in the playoffs. Not scared of losing his job. He is one confident, and the Packers will tell you, athletic quarterback that has his coach, teammates, and everyone in San Francisco believing in him. Come Sunday, we will see him lead the 49ers into Atlanta and out of the Georgia Dome with a win as the 49ers continue onto New Orleans.  I’ll take the Niners in a shootout. San Francisco 49ers 37, Atlanta Falcons 34. This article was written by Kenny Decker. You can follow him on Twitter @Inside__Sports
GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Philly mayor calls LeSean McCoy ‘cowardly'

Report: Price might not return this season due to knee injury

Matt Forte confirms he won’t be returning to Bears

Cardinals GM: ‘No doubt’ team wants Mathieu as fixture

Charles Barkley on Stephen Curry: ‘He’s just a great shooter’

Louisiana governor warns that LSU football could be cut

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Report: People with Warriors think they will get Durant

Joe Thomas: It’s a ‘sad end’ to Manziel story in Cleveland

DeMar DeRozan: It will be ‘pretty tough’ for me to leave Raptors

Super Bowl referee says Cotchery play could have been a catch

The NBA is one step closer to putting ads on jerseys

Archie Manning defends Cam Newton over press conference

Cam Newton sends message with ‘I win my way’ shirt

26% of Denver students skipped school for Broncos parade

Eight surprises, letdowns entering NBA All-Star break

Chris Harris: Von Miller should get paid more than JJ Watt

4 likeliest Dwight Howard trade scenarios

On Kobe Bryant and taking greatness for granted

Penn State the latest to offer generic football jerseys for sale

Gary Bettman praises the NHL’s new website and app (which are currently awful)

Bucks need to choose between wins, development

NBA to weigh adding advertisements to jerseys

ESPN, Stephen A. Smith and Little League International sued by parents of Jackie Robinson West

Kobe Bryant shoots down notion he wants All-Star MVP record

Justin Tuck will sign one-day contract to retire with Giants

NFL News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

On Kobe Bryant and taking greatness for granted

Bucks need to choose between wins, development

Fantasy booking WrestleMania 32

Unrestricted free agents each team must consider re-signing

QUIZ: Name the winners of the NBA Slam Dunk Contest

Thank you Daniel Bryan

The timeless greatness of Jaromir Jagr

The NCAAB power rankings

Report: Kings to keep coach George Karl

Was Alain Vigneault right about NHL's lack of punishment towards Wayne Simmonds?

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker