Make us your home page

Get the quickest, smartest news, analysis and photos from the Bucs game emailed to you shortly after the final whistle.

(View our Privacy Policy)

NFC title game: San Francisco 49ers at Atlanta Falcons

49ers receiver Michael Crabtree (15) has been hot, including a touchdown catch against the Packers last weekend.

Associated Press

49ers receiver Michael Crabtree (15) has been hot, including a touchdown catch against the Packers last weekend.

NFC: 49ers (12-4-1) at Falcons (14-3)

Both teams seek their first Super Bowl berth since the 1990s. The 49ers have great balance. They have a hard-nosed defense that makes moving the ball tough and an offense that can make plays through the air and on the ground, led by quarterback Colin Kaepernick who stunned the NFL with 181 yards rushing and 444 total yards in last weekend's division win over the Packers. The Falcons present problems with their litany of playmakers, led by their core stars of quarterback Matt Ryan, receivers Roddy White and Julio Jones, and tight end Tony Gonzalez. They combine to give the Falcons perhaps their best offense in franchise history.

Time: 3 p.m. today TV/radio: Ch. 13; 98.7-FM, 1010-AM

Coaches: 49ers — Jim Harbaugh (24-7-1, 2-1 playoffs); Falcons — Mike Smith (56-24, 1-3 playoffs)

Stat pack

Breaking it down

49ers game-breaker: Fourth-year receiver Michael Crabtree is enjoying a breakout season, living up to his status as the 10th overall draft pick in 2009. He is finishing strong, with three 100-yard games over his past six outings, including 173 in the regular-season finale against the Cardinals.

Falcons game-breaker: Michael Turner's 98 yards rushing against the Seahawks in Atlanta's division win last weekend was one of his best games this season. If the Falcons, who haven't run well this season, get him going, it changes the complexion of today's game.

Why the 49ers will win: Their offensive balance and unpredictability will put too much strain on a much-improved Falcons defense that hasn't faced this kind of attack.

Why the Falcons will win: The defense learns some important lessons from previous games against dual-threat quarterbacks (Cam Newton, Robert Griffin III, Russell Wilson) and shows the discipline necessary to make Kaepernick one-dimensional.

Look out for: Falcons defensive end John Abraham is a key to slowing Kaepernick. He has a sore ankle and might not be himself, but the Falcons need everything he can muster.


49ers 28, Falcons 23

Stephen F. Holder, Times staff writer

Rushing yards

passing yards

total yards

Rushing yards allowed

passing yards allowed

total yards allowed



155.7 (4th)

87.3 (29th)

206.1 (23rd)

281.8 (6th)

361.8 (11th)

369.1 (8th)

294.4 (3rd)

365.6 (24th)

200.2 (4th)

242.4 (23rd)

94.2 (4th)

123.2 (21st)

* Final regular-season stats

NFC title game: San Francisco 49ers at Atlanta Falcons 01/19/13 [Last modified: Saturday, January 19, 2013 9:36pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Charlie Strong, Gulf High and the best (old) Jon Gruden-Tennessee rumor


    As Butch Jones keeps losing, Tennessee Vols fans are turning to one of the media's favorite pastimes.

    Jon Gruden coaching rumors.

  2. Lightning edges Red Wings on road

    Lightning Strikes

    DETROIT — The digs were different, the Lightning seeing the masterfully-done new Little Caesar's Arena for the first time.

    Lightning center/Red Wings’ killer Tyler Johnson gets past defenseman Trevor Daley on his way to the first goal of the game.
  3. Armwood pulls away to defeat Plant 27-7, remain undefeated


    SEFFNER — First-year Armwood coach Evan Davis pulled out all the stops to get his team psyched for Monday's annual grudge match against Plant.

    Armwood defensive end Malcolm Lamar (97) gets fired up before the start of the game between Plant High School Panthers and the Armwood High School Hawks in Suffer, Fla. on Monday, Oct. 16, 2017.
  4. Bucs journal: Dirk Koetter says Vernon Hargreaves needs to improve


    TAMPA — The Bucs now rank 31st in the NFL in pass defense, allowing 301 yards per game in their 2-3 start, and coach Dirk Koetter was asked Monday how concerned he is with the play of second-year CB Vernon Hargreaves.

    Ryan Fitzpatrick, throwing an incompletion under pressure after replacing injured Jameis Winston against the Cardinals,  would start this Sunday in Buffalo if Winston’s shoulder is still bothering him.
  5. Backhand shot makes Nikita Kucherov's offense even more dangerous

    Lightning Strikes

    DETROIT — Nikita Kucherov is on a historic streak, just the fourth player in the past 30 years to score a goal in each of his first six games.

    Nikita Kucherov’s backhand shot adds to his strong scoring.