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NFL Game Summary - San Francisco at Atlanta



(Sunday, January 20th)

Final Score: San Francisco 28, Atlanta 24

Atlanta, GA (Sports Network) - The San Francisco 49ers are headed back to the Super Bowl for the first time since the 1994 season.

Frank Gore scored a pair of touchdowns in the second half and the 49ers rallied past the Atlanta Falcons, 28-24, in the NFC Championship Game.

San Francisco needed a big defensive stand after Gore's 9-yard rushing touchdown put the 49ers ahead by four with 8:23 to play.

And that's just what they got. San Francisco coach Jim Harbaugh was steaming on the sideline after the officials upheld Harry Douglas' 22-yard juggling catch, which put the ball at the 49ers' 28. Atlanta moved the ball to the 10- yard line and the game came down to two plays. On 3rd-and-4, Ahmad Brooks broke up Matt Ryan's pass and NaVorro Bowman gave the 49ers the ball back after knocking down Ryan's throw to Roddy White on fourth down.

After the 49ers went three-and-out, Atlanta got the ball back at its own 41 with six seconds to play. Julio Jones caught a 24-yard pass as time expired.

"We rose up at the end. That was a great finish for our defense," Harbaugh said. "It put an exclamation point on the game."

The victory was sweet redemption for San Francisco, which lost to the Super Bowl champion New York Giants in the NFC title game last year.

John Harbaugh's Ravens beat the Patriots later Sunday to set up a Harbaugh brothers Super Bowl. Super Bowl XLVII will take place in New Orleans on Feb. 3.

San Francisco, which is a perfect 5-0 in the Super Bowl, will be trying to join Pittsburgh as the only teams with six Super Bowl titles.

Colin Kaepernick completed 16-of-21 passes for 233 yards and a touchdown for the 49ers, who took down the Green Bay Packers in the divisional round last weekend. The second-year signal-caller, who set an NFL rushing record for a quarterback with 181 yards last week, was limited to 21 rushing yards on Sunday.

"He just played great. He played great," Jim Harbaugh said. "I don't even know the words to say it. I mean, it was a great performance by the quarterback. And many others. Everybody chipped in this one, played their hearts out and thank you to them."

Gore carried the ball 21 times for 90 yards for the second-seeded 49ers, who trailed by 17 early in the second quarter. Vernon Davis hauled in five passes for 106 yards and a touchdown.

Ryan connected on 30-of-42 passes for 396 yards, three touchdowns and an interception for the top-seeded Falcons, who beat the Seattle Seahawks last week to make the NFC Championship Game for the third time in franchise history (1998 and 2004).

Jones caught 11 passes for 182 yards and two scores, White hauled in seven passes for 100 yards and Tony Gonzalez caught eight passes for 78 yards and a touchdown.

"We just didn't make enough plays to win the ballgame," Falcons coach Mike Smith said. "We played hard and we had our chances for this to be a different outcome. We just came up short."

The Falcons scored a touchdown with 25 seconds left in the first half to take a 24-14 lead into the locker room.

However, the momentum shifted back to the 49ers early in the second half. Randy Moss caught passes of 21 and 17 yards around Delanie Walker's 20-yard catch. On 1st-and-goal from the five, Gore rumbled into the end zone.

San Francisco's defense followed with a big play, as Chris Culliver picked off Ryan at the 38-yard line of the 49ers. Davis caught a 31-yard pass on the first play. The 49ers got to the 20 before sending David Akers out to try a 38-yard field goal. Akers' attempt hit off the left upright and was no good.

Another big mistake by Ryan gave the 49ers another chance. On 2nd-and-9 from the San Francisco 28, Ryan fumbled the snap out of the shotgun. The 49ers recovered with less than a minute left in the third frame.

"It was just kind of a freak play. I took my eye off the ball for a second and it ended up on the ground," Ryan said. "Against a good team, you can't have those kind of mistakes."

A 15-yard roughing the passer penalty on third down gave the 49ers a fresh set of downs. Michael Crabtree followed with a 33-yard catch on the first play of the fourth quarter. Just two plays later, Crabtree caught a pass for four yards before Dunta Robinson stripped the ball. Atlanta recovered the ball at the 1-yard line.

After holding the Falcons to a three-and-out, Ted Ginn Jr. returned a punt 20 yards to the Atlanta 38. Crabtree caught an 8-yard pass following four straight runs. Gore then found a hole on the right side and scampered into the end zone for a 28-24 lead with 8:23 to play.

San Francisco's defense held strong to secure the come-from-behind victory.

The Falcons jumped out to a big lead for the second consecutive week. White kept Atlanta's first drive alive with a 16-yard catch on 3rd-and-9. Just two plays later, Ryan confused the defense with a play-action pass. Jones was wide open down the left side for a 46-yard touchdown.

The home team tacked on a field goal after San Francisco went three-and-out. Jones helped set up Matt Bryant's 35-yard field goal with a 27-yard catch.

Atlanta was driving again at the end of the first quarter. White hauled in a 23-yard pass on the final play to move the ball to the San Francisco 20. On the first play of the second stanza, Jones made a great catch in the left corner of the end zone to make it 17-0.

The 49ers' offense finally woke up on the ensuing possession. Gore started the series with four straight runs, which gave San Francisco its first two first downs of the contest. On 3rd-and-7, Davis caught a 27-yard pass. That set up LaMichael James' 15-yard TD run with 8:08 left in the half.

San Francisco put together another long scoring drive on its next possession. Davis' 19-yard catch, Kaepernick's 23-yard run, a 15-yard unnecessary roughness penalty on Atlanta and Davis' 25-yard catch put the ball at the four. From there, Kaepernick used the play-action pass to find Davis for a touchdown with 1:55 remaining.

Ryan and the Falcons responded with an impressive 80-yard drive that only took 1:30 off the clock. Ryan completed four passes of at least 13 yards to move the ball to the San Francisco 16. Gonzalez followed with consecutive catches, with the second resulting in a 10-yard score and 24-14 lead.

Game Notes

Jacquizz Rodgers carried the ball 10 times for 32 yards for Atlanta, which was trying to make it back to the Super Bowl for the first time since the 1998 season ... The Falcons led Seattle 20-0 at halftime in last week's playoff game ... Ryan set Falcons playoff records with 396 yards and a 114.8 passer rating ... James, a rookie out of Oregon, had zero touchdowns in the regular season ... Since 2001, including playoffs, the 49ers were 1-27 in games they trailed by at least 17 points ... Jones set a Falcons franchise record for the most receiving yards in a playoff game.

01/20 22:08:49 ET

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Scoreboard
Local
Final
ROC 8
DUR 2
 
2:30pm Friday
STONYBROOK
NCSTATE
 
7:05pm Friday
SYR
DUR
 
6:35pm Saturday
SYR
DUR
 
5:05pm Sunday
SYR
DUR
 
Final
TEX 3
CLE 12
Final
COL 6
CIN 4
Final
MIA 2
PIT 5
Final
CWS 5
TOR 3
Final
KAN 2
NYY 4
Final
BOS 4
MIN 6
Final
PHI 0
NYM 7
Final
SEA 3
TAM 0
Final
SFG 3
MIL 1
Final
DET 3
OAK 2
Final
HOU 4
BAL 5
Final
WAS 3
CHC 0
Final
ARI 3
STL 4
7th
SDP 4
ANA 3
 
7th
ATL 1
LOS 1
 
1:05pm Today
CWS
BAL
 
4:35pm Today
CWS
BAL
 
8:05pm Tonight
BOS
TEX
 
10:05pm Tonight
DET
ANA
 
10:05pm Tonight
NYY
OAK
 
10:10pm Tonight
CLE
SEA
 
10:10pm Tonight
PIT
SDP
 
10:15pm Tonight
ATL
SFG
 
4:05pm Friday
KAN
CHC
 
7:05pm Friday
COL
PHI
 
7:05pm Friday
TAM
BAL
 
7:10pm Friday
MIA
NYM
 
7:10pm Friday
WAS
CIN
 
8:05pm Friday
BOS
TEX
 
8:10pm Friday
ARI
MIL
 
8:10pm Friday
CWS
HOU
 
8:10pm Friday
TOR
MIN
 
8:15pm Friday
LOS
STL
 
10:05pm Friday
DET
ANA
 
10:05pm Friday
NYY
OAK
 
10:10pm Friday
CLE
SEA
 
10:10pm Friday
PIT
SDP
 
10:15pm Friday
ATL
SFG
 
2:10pm Saturday
TOR
MIN
 
3:05pm Saturday
COL
PHI
 
4:05pm Saturday
TAM
BAL
 
4:10pm Saturday
ARI
MIL
 
4:10pm Saturday
CWS
HOU
 
4:10pm Saturday
MIA
NYM
 
4:10pm Saturday
WAS
CIN
 
7:15pm Saturday
BOS
TEX
 
7:15pm Saturday
KAN
CHC
 
7:15pm Saturday
LOS
STL
 
10:05pm Saturday
ATL
SFG
 
10:05pm Saturday
DET
ANA
 
10:05pm Saturday
NYY
OAK
 
10:10pm Saturday
CLE
SEA
 
10:10pm Saturday
PIT
SDP
 
1:10pm Sunday
MIA
NYM
 
1:10pm Sunday
WAS
CIN
 
1:35pm Sunday
COL
PHI
 
1:35pm Sunday
TAM
BAL
 
2:10pm Sunday
ARI
MIL
 
2:10pm Sunday
CWS
HOU
 
2:10pm Sunday
TOR
MIN
 
2:15pm Sunday
LOS
STL
 
2:20pm Sunday
KAN
CHC
 
3:05pm Sunday
BOS
TEX
 
4:05pm Sunday
ATL
SFG
 
4:05pm Sunday
NYY
OAK
 
4:10pm Sunday
CLE
SEA
 
8:05pm Sunday
DET
ANA
 
9:10pm Sunday
PIT
SDP
 
7:05pm Monday
TOR
WAS
 
7:10pm Monday
CHC
MIA
 
7:10pm Monday
MIN
BOS
 
8:10pm Monday
BAL
HOU
 
8:10pm Monday
MIL
STL
 
8:40pm Monday
LOS
COL
 
9:40pm Monday
ATL
ARI
 
10:05pm Monday
TAM
ANA
 
10:10pm Monday
NYM
SDP
 
10:10pm Monday
NYY
SEA
 
10:15pm Monday
PIT
SFG
 
Final
HOU 90
GSW 104
 
9:00pm Friday
GSW
HOU
 
9:00pm Sunday
HOU
GSW
 
Final
ANA 2
CHI 5
8:00pm Friday
TAM
NYR
 
8:00pm Saturday
CHI
ANA
 
12:00pm Friday
AUBURN
CHARLESTON
 
1:00pm Friday
CALIFORNIA
CCAROLINA
 
1:00pm Friday
COLUMBIA
ECAROLINA
 
1:00pm Friday
ORALROBRTS
ARKANSAS
 
1:00pm Friday
OREGON
IOWA
 
1:00pm Friday
SFLORIDA
FAU
 
1:00pm Friday
WRIGHTST
NOTREDAME
 
2:00pm Friday
MICHIGAN
BRADLEY
 
2:30pm Friday
STONYBROOK
NCSTATE
 
2:30pm Friday
TEXAS
OREGONST
 
3:00pm Friday
INDIANA
RADFORD
 
3:30pm Friday
ULLAFAYETE
RICE
 
4:00pm Friday
LEHIGH
LSU
 
6:00pm Friday
CANISIUS
SWMISSOURI
 
6:00pm Friday
CLEMSON
ARIZONAST
 
6:00pm Friday
MERCER
FLORIDAST
 
6:00pm Friday
MOREHEADST
LOUISVILLE
 
6:00pm Friday
VIRGINIA
USC
 
7:00pm Friday
FIU
MIAFLA
 
7:00pm Friday
FLAAM
FLORIDA
 
7:00pm Friday
MARYLAND
MISS
 
7:00pm Friday
SACREDHART
TCU
 
7:00pm Friday
STJOHNS
OKLAHOMAST
 
7:00pm Friday
TSOUTHERN
TEXASAM
 
7:00pm Friday
VCU
DALLASBAPT
 
8:00pm Friday
HSTNBAPT
HOUSTON
 
8:00pm Friday
LIPSCOMB
VANDERBILT
 
8:00pm Friday
OHIO
ILLINOIS
 
8:00pm Friday
TULANE
NWILMINGTN
 
10:00pm Friday
PEPPERDINE
FULLERTON
 
10:00pm Friday
SANDIEGOST
CSANTABAR
 
11:00pm Friday
CSBAKER
UCLA
 
Final
ROC 8
DUR 2
 
7:05pm Friday
SYR
DUR
 
6:35pm Saturday
SYR
DUR
 
5:05pm Sunday
SYR
DUR