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NFC Championship

February 1, 2013
Owensville High School

NFC Championship

Nathan Smith


In the NFC Championship game, the Falcons were the home team against the 49ers. Atlanta won the NFC South with a 13-3 record and the 49ers also won their division with 11 wins and 4 losses to go along with a rare tie. The Falcons were the favorite and were expected to win and advance to the playoffs. About halfway through the year, 49ers coach Jim Harbaugh benched Alex Smith and decided to start Colin Kaepernick; this surprised most of the NFL fan base and insiders.

Atlanta got the ball first to start the game after winning the coin toss and choosing to receive. After a drive of 3:36, the Falcons scored a touchdown on a 46-yard pass from Matt Ryan to Julio Jones. This touchdown gave the Falcons a quick 7-0 lead. With 3:20 left in the first quarter, Matt Bryant kicked a 35-yard field goal to add to their lead.

The Falcons also had the ball to start the second quarter. On another connection between Jones and Ryan for 20-yards, the Falcons went up by 17. Everything was going well for Atlanta and not so much for the 49ers, but San Francisco was hoping to cut the deficit before halftime. A little over six minutes later, rookie running back LaMichael James had a 15-yard rush to cut the lead to ten. They scored again with 1:55 left in the half to cut the lead to three on a four-yard pass from Kaepernick to tight end Vernon Davis. Atlanta answered right back with a touchdown of their own with 25 seconds left in the half. Ryan threw for his third touchdown of the game on a 10-yard pass to Tony Gonzalez to make the score 24-14 at halftime.

San Francisco’s defense held the Falcons scoreless in the third quarter and were able to score one touchdown to make it a three point game once again. It was a five-yard rush by Frank Gore for his first rushing touchdown of the game. In the fourth quarter, San Francisco took their first lead of the game on a 9-yard touchdown rush by Gore to make the score 28-24. For the quarter in a row, the 49ers held the Falcons scoreless and advanced to Super Bowl XLVII against the Baltimore Ravens who beat the New England Patriots in the AFC Championship game.

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