Photo: Harry How/Getty Images
The Atlanta Falcons stunned the San Francisco 49ers with a flurry of early points in the NFC Championship Game, but San Francisco came storming back to win 28-24 and advance to the Super Bowl.It was an epic comeback.
The 49ers went down 17-0 and had -2 yards of offence in the first quarter, but they had 161 yards in the second quarter and saved this thing from turning into a blowout.
Atlanta scored all 24 of their points in the first half. Still, they had a chance to win it with the ball at the San Fran 15-yard-line with two minutes left, but they turned it over on downs.
Here’s how the rest of the game unfolded:
1. On the first drive of the game, Matt Ryan connected on a 46-yard TD throw to a wide open Julio Jones to make it 7-0. The pass protection for Atlanta was a big key coming in, and it was impeccable on that first drive.
2. Atlanta tacked on a field goal to make it 10-0, and then Jones made another amazing TD catch to make it 17-0:
3. The 49ers responded to that TD with a really important 80-yard touchdown drive of their own. LaMichael James got the touchdown on a nifty 15-yard run.
4. San Francisco made it 17-14 with a short Vernon David TD catch.
5. Atlanta pulled out their signature two-minute drill, and scored a touchdown right before half to make it 24-14. Tony Gonzalez scored it on an easy TD catch, and then dunked:
6. The 49ers stormed down the field on the first drive of the third quarter and scored a touchdown on a short Frank Gore run. 24-21 Falcons now:
7. The 49ers had a chance to tie it, but David Akers missed a 38-yard field goal after getting trashed-talked by Asante Samuel right before the kick (via Bleacher Report):
8. In the fourth quarter, Michael Crabtree was going in for the go-ahead TD when he fumbled at the one-inch line:
9. The 49ers finally grabbed the lead with a short Frank Gore run to make it 28-24:
10. The Falcons had the ball at the 49ers 15-yard line with two minutes left. But they couldn’t convert a 4th and 4, and they turned it over on downs.
The other highlight came from Thomas DeCoud, who danced like this after a totally routine play.
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