On Sunday afternoon, the San Francisco 49ers beat the Atlanta Falcons 28-24 in the NFC Championship game, earning the right to represent the NFC in Super Bowl XLVII in New Orleans on February 3rd. This was the team's second consecutive appearance in the NFC Championship game and this will be the 49ers' first Super Bowl appearance in 18 years. This will also be the 49ers' sixth Super Bowl appearance.
The Atlanta Falcons dominated early, taking a 17-0 lead. The 49ers finally got on the scoreboard with a 15-yard touchdown run by running back LaMichael James and then followed that up with a 4-yard touchdown pass to tight end Vernon Davis, bringing them to within 3. However, the Falcons struck again with a 10-yard touchdown pass to tight end Tony Gonzalez at the end of the first half to take a 24-14 lead.
The 49ers opened the second half with a 7 play, 82-yard drive that ended with a 5-yard touchdown run by running back Frank Gore to narrow the score to 24-21. With 7:38 left in the third quarter, Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan was picked off by 49ers corner Chris Culliver. However, struggling kicker David Akers was unable to connect on a 38-yard field goal that would have tied the game for the 49ers on the following drive.
At the end of the third quarter, Matt Ryan fumbled the ball and linebacker Aldon Smith recovered it for San Francisco. On the following drive, early in the fourth quarter, Michael Crabtree fumbled the ball at the Falcons' 1-yard line, just inches from a touchdown. Atlanta recovered the ball but were forced to punt after a three-and-out. On the following drive, the 49ers scored on a 9-yard Frank Gore touchdown run with 8:23 left in the game, taking a 28-24 lead. It was the 49ers' first lead of the game.
The Atlanta Falcons then drove down the field, but were unable to score and turned the ball over with a 1:09 left in the game, preserving the 49ers' victory and earning the team a trip to Super Bowl XLVII.
Quarterback Colin Kaepernick passed for 233 yards and touchdown. Running back Frank Gore led the 49ers' rushing attack with 90 yards and two touchdowns. Tight end Vernon Davis led the 49ers' receiving with 106 yards on five catches and a touchdown.
The San Francisco 49ers will face the Baltimore Ravens in Super Bowl XLVII. The Ravens beat the New England Patriots 28-13 in the AFC Championship game.