San Francisco 49ers 28-24 Atlanta Falcons

Updated: January 20, 2013

A nine yard touchdown run by Frank Gore means the San Francisco 49ers will go to their sixth Superbowl, thanks to a 28-24 win against the Atlanta Falcons in the NFC Championship game at the Georgia Dome. 

The Falcons were the team though that got off to the best start. On the seventh play of their opening drive, QB Matt Ryan was able to find WR Julio Jones in open space down field for a 46 yard touchdown.

On the first 49ers drive, they were forced three and out as a pass by their QB Colin Kaepernick intended for TE Vernon Davis was broken up by Falcons FS Thomas DeCoud, forcing them to punt the ball.

Jones then caught a 27 yard pass on the Falcons eighth play on their next drive, putting him on 100 yards for the game, with five minutes remaining in the first quarter.

However, the Falcons had to settle for a 37 yard field goal by their K Matt Bryant, on the twelfth play of their drive.

The first sack of the game occurred on the next 49ers drive as Falcons DT Corey Peters was able to get to Kaepernick, forcing another three and out and another punt by the 49ers.

At the start of the second quarter and on the fourth play of the Falcons drive, Jones added another touchdown to the Falcons score with an amazing catch in the left hand corner of the end zone thanks to a 20 yard pass by Ryan, giving the Falcons a 17 point lead.

The 49ers finally entered the RedZone for the first time in the game on the tenth play of their next drive, thanks to a 27 yard pass from Kaepernick to Davis.

Two plays later, RB LaMichael Jones gave the 49ers their first points of the day with a 15 yard run into the end zone for a touchdown, reducing the Falcons lead to ten.

After the Falcons were force three and out, the 49ers entered the red zone again after a 25 yard pass from Kaepernick to Davis, who was then forced out of bounds at the Falcons four yard line by Falcons CB Asante Samuel.

Davis then finished off the drive one play later, catching a four yard pass for a touchdown, reducing the Falcons lead to three.

Gonzalez restored the Falcon’s ten point lead on the fifth play of their next drive, with a great catch for a touchdown in the middle of the end zone, from a 10 yard pass by Ryan.

This made the half time score, 14-24 to the Falcons.

The 49ers started with the ball in the second half and added more points to the board thanks to a five yard run by their RB Frank Gore, completing a seven play drive of 82 yards.

Five plays into the Falcons next drive, Ryan was sacked for the first time in the game by 49ers NT Isaac Sopoaga. On the next play, Ryan was picked off by 49ers CB Chris Culliver, the first turnover of the game.

On the first play of the 49ers resulting drive, Kaepernick completed another deep throw to Davis for 31 yards, who was pushed out of bounds at the Falcons 25 yard line by DeCoud.

The 49ers were given a chance to level the game four plays later, but K David Akers field goal attempt hit the left upright, keeping the score 21-24 to the Falcons.

Nine plays into the Falcons next drive, Ryan fumbled the snap, which 49ers OLB Aldon Smith jumped on, giving his team the ball on their own 37 yard line, the second turnover of the game.

On the fourth play of the 49ers drive in the fourth quarter, WR Michael Crabtree plucked the ball out of the air for a 33 yard pass to the Falcons 33 yard line.

Two plays later though, Crabtree fumbled a pass on the Falcons one yard line, eventually recovered by Falcons SS William Moore for no gain.

However, the 49ers got the ball back straight away, as they forced the Falcons three and out for the second time in the game. A poor punt by the Falcons, allowed the 49ers to start their next drive on the Falcons 38 yard line.

Six plays into the 49ers drive, Gore ran for a nine yard touchdown, giving the 49ers the lead for the first time in the game.

On the fourteenth play of the Falcons drive, on a 4th down and 4, a pass intended for Falcons WR Roddy White was broken up by ILB NaVarro Bowman, resulting in the third turnover of the game.

The Falcons defense then forced the 49ers three and out for the third time in the game, giving the Falcons one last opportunity to win the game from their own 41 yard line.

Sadly, it wasn’t to be. Ryan managed to complete a 24 yard pass to Jones, but he was stopped on the 49ers 35 yard line by 49ers CB Carlos Rogers, making the final score 28-24 to the 49ers.

This win means the 49ers are the champions of the NFC, but more importantly, they will be competing in the Superbowl for the sixth time in their history on 3rd February, at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome in New Orleans, against the Baltimore Ravens.

This game will also be the first time that two head coaches that are brothers, Jim Harbaugh of the 49ers and John Harbaugh of the Ravens, have gone against each other in the Superbowl.

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Match report by Conor Porter

twitter – @ConorJPorter

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