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Falcons Look Ahead to Hosting 49ers

Posted Jan 14, 2013

The Falcons abide by the 24-hour rule after wins and losses, but after Sunday's 30-28 win over the Seattle Seahawks to send them to the NFC Championship game, Atlanta's eyes are fixed on San Francisco.

The Falcons spent Saturday night in their normal team and positional meetings at the team hotel in Atlanta. They had snack, went to their rooms and turned on the TV.

It should come as no surprise that they flipped it right to the other big NFC divisional game, which ended up being a San Francisco 45-31 win over Green Bay, since the Falcons knew if they took care of business Sunday afternoon, they'd be facing the winner.

The initial report is that the 49ers look similar to Seattle.

"It's right there, so you've got to match it," linebacker Sean Weatherspoon said after Sunday's game. "But they've got to come to our place, so we'll feed off our crowd and we've got to play a complete game next week."

Much like the team the Falcons beat 30-28 Sunday, the 49ers bring a young, mobile quarterback whose confidence seems to grow by the day, a tough, bruising running back and a dangerous defense that can give teams fits.

In the win over Green Bay on Saturday night, San Francisco quarterback Colin Kaepernick completed 17-of-31 passes for 263 yards and two touchdowns. But that's not the worst of it. He added 16 carries for 181 yards and two more touchdowns on the ground.

Combine his talents with running back Frank Gore, wide receivers Michael Crabtree and Randy Moss, and tight end Vernon Davis and the San Francisco offense inspires a look similar to that of the Falcons themselves.

"The offense is very explosive. Crabtree is playing amazing. Their tight ends — (Seattle tight end Zach) Miller gave us a lot of problems today, so we've got to be much better from that aspect next week," cornerback Dunta Robinson said. "But we'll regroup. We'll go fix the things that we didn't do well today and we'll bounce back. The heart of a true champion is to never give up."

San Francisco finished the year as NFC West champions, although they had to end up fighting Seattle for it. Finishing the regular season 11-4-1, the 49ers' biggest loss of the year came to the team the Falcons just beat — a 42-13 drubbing in Week 16 at Seattle.

The Niners rebounded nicely after that to beat Arizona in Week 17 to lock up the division crown and the No. 2 seed in the NFC.

Saturday's win over Green Bay only underscored the point that the Niners will deserve the Falcons' full attention this week.

"The 49ers are a great football team," center Todd McClure said. "They're playing really well. It's going to be a challenge for us, but like I said earlier, if we want to have a chance to play with them next week — I'm sure nobody will give us a shot — but we've got to get our running game going early."

Wildcard Round
Saturday, Jan. 5, 2013
No. 3 Houston Texans 19, No. 6 Cincinnati Bengals 13
No. 3 Green Bay Packers 24, No. 6 Minnesota Vikings 10

Sunday, Jan. 6, 2013
No. 4 Baltimore Ravens 24, No. 5 Indianapolis Colts 9
No. 5 Seattle Seahawks 24, No. 4 Washington Redskins 14

Divisional Round
Saturday, Jan. 12, 2013
No. 4 Baltimore Ravens 38, No. 1 Denver Broncos 35
No. 2 San Francisco 49ers 45, No. 3 Green Bay Packers 31

Sunday, Jan. 13, 2013
No. 1 Atlanta Falcons 30, No. 5 Seattle Seahawks 28
No. 2 New England Patriots 41, No. 3 Houston Texans 28

Conference Championship
Sunday, Jan. 20, 2013
3 p.m. ET - No. 2 San Francisco 49ers at No. 1 Atlanta Falcons, (FOX)
6:30 p.m. ET - No. 4 Baltimore Ravens at No. 2 New England Patriots, (CBS)

Super Bowl XLVII
Sunday, Feb. 3, 2013
6:30 p.m. (CBS)


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