The opening of Championship Sunday begins with the NFC Championship game between the 49ers and Falcons. This marks the first time ever that the NFC title game will take place in Atlanta.
2:57 – We start of today’s live blog with a doozy of a quote from ex-49ers owner Eddie DeBartolo:
3:01 – My favorite Eddie D. quote ever still remains “you have to bring ass to get ass.”
3:04 – According to Grantland, San Francisco enters as the largest road favorite in a conference title game since at least 1978. No one has a website that just produces old gambling lines? I find this disturbing.
3:05 – My concern about that is this…
3:05 – Joe Montana’s 49ers accounted for the last playoff road win during the 1988 NFC title game.
3:07 – Falcons with the ball first…
3:09 – Atlanta’s first series rolls into 49er territory…and culminates with a 46-yard TD bomb to Julio Jones. Uh oh. Matt Ryan throws a raaaaaiiiiiinnnnnbow.
FALCONS 7, 49ERS 0
3:15 – San Francisco’s turn…
3:18 – Thomas DeCoud just gave a DX crotch chop after breaking up a third down pass to Vernon Davis. That would be a PF if the officials actually understood what he did.
3:20 – Yeah, it’s pretty evident that the 49ers may not be able to cover the Falcons.
3:27 – Julio Jones ran over some poor unsuspecting security guard and delaying the game as a result.
3:28 – Jones is already over 100 yards. Ouch.
3:31 – Matt Bryant caps Atlanta’s latest drive with a 35-yard field goal. The 49ers have just one yard of total offense late in the first quarter on just one possession.
FALCONS 10, 49ERS 0
3:32 – Succinct analysis from SI.com’s Peter King:
Going out on a limb but the 49ers will probably lose if that’s the case.
3:33 – LaMichael James fumbles the kickoff…but was already down. Disaster averted.
3:36 – Danger zone for the 49ers here already down 10…
3:37 – This game and the situation could expose Kaepernick’s greatest weakness…accuracy. Of course, that’s irrelevant if he gets sacked. Atlanta drops Kaepernick on third down. 49ers in big trouble early.
3:40 – Interesting and very true tweet….
3:40 – Still plenty of football left but the Falcons must keep going on the 49ers.
3:42 – The first quarter can’t end soon enough for the 49ers, who are allowing another drive deep into their territory.
END OF FIRST: FALCONS 10, 49ERS 0
3:46 – The Niners are getting bopped. Another Julio Jones touchdown catch. This one is a 20-yard sensational grab in the left corner of the end zone…and under review. It’s 6 though.
FALCONS 17, 49ERS 0
3:51 – Niners need a 10-15 play drive here….or anything positive to happen.
3:54 – In case you’re keeping score at home, John & Jim Harbaugh are a combined 1-7 in conference championship games as a player and coach.
3:59 – Kaepernick takes a delay of game penalty on a 3rd and 2 just inside of midfield. Woops.
4:02 – Finally, the Niners get on the board with a LaMichael James touchdown run that was DESPERATELY NEEDED.
FALCONS 17, 49ERS 7
4:05 – The Falcons need to be held off here by San Francisco. Need to try to stabilize the game.
4:08 – Niners get the Falcons off the field after an overthrow of Jacquizz Rodgers.
4:12 – 49ers backed up. Kaepernick hasn’t carried yet after rushing for 181 yards last week.
4:16 – A highly questionable personal foul followed by another Vernon Davis catch inside of the ATL 10.
4:18 – The Falcons are reminiscent of your classic wrestling good guy…AWESOME START…CRAPPY MIDDLE…RECOVERY AT THE END.
4:19 – ANOTHER Vernon Davis score. He has four catches for 75 yards and a score.
FALCONS 17, 49ERS 14
4:25 – Matt Ryan now working over 49ers D with Roddy White. Niners secondary is getting abused.
4:26 – Oh, there is Julio Jones inside of the 49er 20. Terrible job here by San Francisco’s defense.
4:27 – Falcons need six here. No lulls…
4:28 – Ask and you shall receive. The immortal Tony Gonzalez catches a Matt Ryan TD strike to extend the Atlanta lead to 10.
FALCONS 24, 49ERS 14
4:31 – The 49ers run a play that goes next to nowhere and that ends the first half. San Francisco’s defense didn’t come to play today. This one is on Kaepernick and the offense. Good luck.
HALFTIME: FALCONS 24, 49ERS 14
4:49 – The 49ers arrive in Atlanta’s end to begin matters in the third quarter. A Delanie Walker pass leads to injury of Dunta Robinson. In case you’re not familiar with Mr. Robinson’s work…
4:52 – Another Randy Moss sighting lands the Niners inside of the ATL 5…which immediately leads to a Frank Gore touchdown run. Atlanta has zero answer for the 49ers at the moment.
FALCONS 24, 49ERS 21
4:57 – This actual reminds me of a Patriots game. Tons of pressure on Matt Ryan to keep answering 49ers offense because Atlanta’s faulty D.
5:01 – Just announced that Michael Turner is out of the game with an ankle injury. His return is questionable. I’m guessing he will not be back…nor should he. Falcons just inside of 49ers territory.
5:03 – Turnover party and Matt Ryan is invited. Ryan is intercepted. 49ers ball.
5:04 – Quick injury analysis on Michael Turner’s ankle ailment.
I’m not going to pull the fat card. Too mean.
5:05 – Falcons are giving up double digit leads last two weeks like they are packs of Mr. Goodbar.
5:08 – Remember when David Akers was a good kicker all of 12 months ago? Akers clangs one off the left upright. Atlanta still holds a three point lead.
5:11 – If the Falcons can score another TD here…they MIGHT be ok…until about five minutes left to go. Atlanta is in 49er territory again. They should build a tent there, geez.
5:15 – Back to Julio Jones on third down.
5:16 – Oh sweet Jesus. Aldon Smith recovers a Matt Ryan fumble, after the
Mattural took his eyes off the snap. Wow.
5:18 – Just as the Niners are set to go three and out…Cliff Matthews is called for a personal foul for a blow to Kaepernick’s head. Ugh. Hate that call. He slapped the guy’s facemask.
5:21 – We’re at the end of three with the Falcons holding on for dear life.
END OF THIRD QUARTER: FALCONS 24, 49ERS 21
5:23 – Michael Crabtree turns water into wine on a first down catch that goes to the Atlanta 10.
5:24 – Crabtree fumbles at the 1 going into the endzone after a strip by Robinson. Awesome play.
5:28 – Ew. Falcons seemed a little scared backed up at their own 1. Three and out. Punt time.
5:34 – It seems like the Niners average nine yards per rush. Crazy run game.
5:35 – Frank Gore scores from nine yards away to finally give the 49ers a lead. Goodbye 17-point Atlanta lead.
49ERS 28, FALCONS 24
5:42 – Approaching critical mass time here for the Falcons, who haven’t scored in the second half. Six minutes left to go…
5:45 – The turf monster just ate Harry Douglas. Otherwise, he should have been doing cartwheels in the endzone by now. He “caught” it and stumbled terribly. However, instant replay suggests something else happened. Cue Pope Harbaugh’s red challenge flag.
5:48 – Douglas’s catch stays intact, which leads to Mount Harbaugh exploding. Falcons in the red zone.
5:51 – You think Harbaugh wants to win this one? Gif it!
5:53 – Under 90 seconds left…sweet lord. 3rd and 4.
5:54 – Navorro Bowman breaks up a 4th and 4 pass at the SF 5. Megastop by the Niners. 1:09 left…Niners closing in on the Super Bowl.
5:57 – Falcons blew a timeout early on in the second half because of confusion on offense. A killer now…2nd and 7.
5:58 – Gore tackled at the SF 4. Atlanta uses final timeout. 3rd and 15.
6:02 – The 49ers hold it together as Matt Ryan’s dangling left arm stops him from heaving one long downfield.
6:03 – Ball game. NINERS GO TO THE SUPER BOWL.
FINAL: 49ERS 28, FALCONS 24