Originally written January 20, 2013 on BlackSportsOnline:
49ers 28 Falcons 24 The huge question that will linger for weeks after this game will be about why the Atlanta Falcons continue to not be able to put teams away after running out to big leads. The Falcons jumped out to an early 10-0 lead after an early 46 yard bomb from Matt Ryan to Julio Jones and a Matt Bryant field goal. Julio Jones then scored on a 20 yard fade to put the Falcons up 17-0, and the route should have been on, except these are the Atlanta Falcons we are talking about. The 49ers and settled Colin Kaepernick down, utilized their short passing and run game, and closed the gap to 17-7 with a 15 yard Lamichael James touchdown with 8 minutes to go in the half. At that point, San Francisco found their groove, and Colin Kaepernick started to get in sync by going to tight end Vernon Davis on several plays. Davis and Kaepernick hooked up several times in the second quarter for the tune of 5 catches for Davis, and 106 yards.  They culminated that chemistry with a 4 yard touchdown with 1:55 seconds left in the half. At that point the Niners made it a game, but the Falcons were able to answer that score with a Matt Ryan to Tony Gonzalez 10 yard touchdown pass with 25 seconds left in the half to lead 24-14. The 49ers received the ball to start the second half and continued where they left off with a short passes to Davis and Crabtree, and strong running from Frank Gore who plunged in from 5 yards out to cut the Falcons lead to 24-21 with 10:47 left in the third. Ryan then hurt the Falcons with two late quarter turnovers that started the teams implosion.  First Ryan had an intended pass for Roddy White intercepted by Niners cornerback Chris Culliver. The 49ers could not take advantage after David Akers missed a 38 yard field goal.  Ryan then fumbled a shotgun snap and the ball went back to San Francisco. The 49ers again could not capitalize and were denied when receiver Michael Crabtree fumbled at the goal line when stripped by Dunta Robinson. William Moore helped on the hit and Stephen Nicholas was credited with the recovery. The two teams went back and forth during the 4th quarter, before Gore’s 9-yard run midway through completed the comeback from a 17-0 first-half deficit and allowed San Francisco to go up 28-24. The 49ers were able to keep the Falcons out of the end zone from their, and complete the biggest comeback in an NFC Championship game since 1999. The 49ers will now await the winner of the AFC Championship game between New England and Baltimore.  
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