For several minutes on Sunday afternoon, it looked like the 49ers would be hosting the Seattle Seahawks for the NFC Championship game.
Following Marshawn Lynch’s 2-yard touchdown run with 31 seconds left in the Divisional Round matchup against top-seeded Atlanta, the NFC West foes looked destined for a third tilt of the season. But two quick passes from Matt Ryan and a last-second field goal by Matt Bryant gave the Falcons a 30-28 victory, meaning the 49ers will pack their bags and head to the Georgia Dome for Sunday’s NFC title game.
The 49ers fell short in last year’s NFC Championship with a 20-17 overtime loss to the eventual Super Bowl champion New York Giants. After the 45-31 win over the Packers on Saturday, players spoke about overcoming last year’s mistakes and reaching Super Bowl XLVII in New Orleans. Peter King of Sports Illustrated took a look ahead to the NFC title game between the 49ers and Falcons and the AFC title game between the Baltimore Ravens and New England Patriots.
“Now the storyline the world will be bludgeoned with this week is how Atlanta will defend (Colin) Kaepernick, who appeared indefensible against Green Bay behind the best offensive line in the league,” King wrote. “At least if Kaepernick were playing at Candlestick in January, there’d be a chance he’d be slowed by a muddy field. But on the indoor FieldTurf carpet at the Georgia Dome? Look out.”
The rest of today’s Morning Tailgate looks ahead to the NFC Championship as the 49ers will try to reach their sixth Super Bowl in franchise history.
Tim Kawakami of the Bay Area News Group looked at the remaining hurdles for the 49ers in their Quest for Six.
Eric Branch of the San Francisco Chronicle previewed the Kaepernick-Falcons matchup.
Cam Inman of the Bay Area News Group gave his take on San Francisco vs. Atlanta.
Matt Maiocco of CSNBayArea.com broke down the 49ers-Falcons.
Matt Barrows of the Sacramento Bee noted how Atlanta has fared against mobile quarterbacks.
NFL.com gives you the opportunity to name Kaepernick’s 56-yard TD run against Green Bay.
Ann Killion of the San Francisco Chronicle examined the 49ers as they prepare for another road playoff game.
Mike Sando of ESPN.com compared Kaepernick and Falcons QB Matt Ryan.
Lowell Cohn of the Santa Rosa Press Democrat wrote that the Falcons will have their hands full trying to defend Kaepernick.
Ray Ratto of CSNBayArea.com said Jim Harbaugh is forging a special career in his second season as an NFL coach.
Sando listed five matchups to note between the 49ers and Falcons.
Maiocco wrote that Michael Crabtree has a lot to prove in the postseason.
Jay Adams of AtlantaFalcons.com shared comments from Atlanta’s players about hosting the 49ers.
NFL.com put together a photo essay of Kaepernick’s record performance against the Packers.
Gary Peterson of the Bay Area News Group passed along the story of a special 49ers fan who was on hand to watch the win over the Packers.
Katie Dowd of the San Francisco Chronicle captured the latest round of #Kaepernicking on social media.
49ers Faithful can print out 49ers-themed paper cubes of players like Frank Gore and Vernon Davis.
Young YouTube Hip Hop sensation Sarah Redden has released another 49ers rap song called “Niner Nation.”
49ers.com’s coverage of the Green Bay game included a recap of the game, Kaepernick’s big day, Crabtree’s two-touchdown game, the dominant second-half defense and a photo gallery. Scott Kegley and Taylor Price broke down the Divisional Round win in the latest Cover 2 presented by AAA and we also had Press Passes from Harbaugh, Kaepernick, Crabtree and Willis.
TV49’s CLIP OF THE DAY
Tags: Colin Kaepernick, Jim Harbaugh, Michael Crabtree
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