At a glance: NFC Championship Game
- January 19, 2013 - 8:50 PM
Time, TV: 2 p.m. today,
Ch. 9 Line: 49ers by 4
The 49ers offense looked unstoppable last week in rolling up a franchise playoff-record 579 yards. Atlanta got its first victory in a playoff game during the five years Mike Smith has been coach and Matt Ryan has been QB, but he needed a late 49-yard field goal by Matt Bryan to beat Seattle. Can Atlanta contain San Francisco quarterback Colin Kaepernick, who ran for an NFL QB-record 181 yards and passed for 263 more last week? Kaepernick, 6-2 as a starter, has validated coach John Harbaugh's decision to bench Alex Smith.
ABOUT THE 49ERS
How they got here: San Francisco, the NFC West champion at 11-4-1, was the second seed in the NFC and, after a first-round bye, beat Green Bay 45-31.
Stats: San Francisco was 11th in the NFL in offense and third in defense.
Top guns: Kaepernick has passed for 12 TDs with four INTs and rushed for four TDs while posting a 6-2 record as the starter. RB Frank Gore had 1,213 yards rushing for a team-record sixth season with at least 1,000 yards rushing. WR Michael Crabtree had nine catches for 119 yards, two TDs against Packers. LB Aldon Smith's 33 1/2 sacks are a high total for a player in his first two seasons. Smith led the NFC with a team-record 19 1/2 sacks.
ABOUT THE FALCONS
How they got here: Atlanta, the NFC South champion at 13-3, was the No. 1 seed and beat Seattle 30-28 last week.
Stats: Atlanta was eighth in the league in offense and 24th in defense.
Top guns: WRs Roddy White (1,351) and Julio Jones (1,198) are the first Atlanta duo to each top 1,000 yards receiving since 1998. Including the playoffs, White has an NFC-leading 590 catches since 2007. TE Tony Gonzalez, named to his 13th Pro Bowl this season, got his first postseason victory last week. DE John Abraham led the Falcons with 10 sacks, giving him 126 in his career, most for any active NFL player. CB Asante Samuel holds the NFL postseason record with four career TD returns on interceptions.
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