49ers Punch Ticket To Super Bowl With Win At Atlanta
The San Francisco 49ers will represent the NFC in the Super Bowl after defeating Atlanta 28-24 in the NFC championship game at the Georgia Dome on Sunday.
The Falcons got off to a hot start and took a 17-0 lead halfway through the second quarter. Matt Ryan found Julio Jones on a deep pass to open the scoring four minutes into the game, and Matt Bryant connected on a 35-yard field goal late in the first. Ryan and Jones hooked up for a 20-yard TD six seconds into the second quarter to take the 17-0 lead.
The Niners scored a pair of touchdowns after long drives to cut the Falcons lead to 17-14, but Atlanta struck again with just seconds left in the second quarter. Future hall of fame tight end Tony Gonzalez caught a 10 yard pass from Ryan to make the score 24-14 at the half.
San Francisco running back Frank Gore scored early in the third quarter to cap a 7 play, 82 yard drive and cut the Atlanta lead to 24-21.
Gore struck again halfway through the fourth quarter for a 9 yard TD that turned out to be the game-winning score.
The Falcons had the ball with eight minutes remaining in the third quarter and were able to advance from their own 20 yard line to inside the red zone. Faced with a fourth-and-four, Matt Ryan tried to find Roddy White on a crossing pattern over the middle and the pass was batted down with just over one minute remaining.
San Francisco was able to run out a majority of the clock to advance to the Super Bowl in New Orleans February 3rd. It is San Fran's first trip to the Super Bowl since 1995.