USA TODAY Sports
The San Francisco 49ers at Atlanta Falcons meet today in the NFC Championship Game, with the winner reaching Super Bowl XLVII in New Orleans, La. on Feb. 3.
Game Time: 3 p.m. ET
Odds: San Francisco -5
49ERS: Have won NFL-best 16 division titles since 1980. JIM HARBAUGH is 8th head coach since 1970 to win division title in each of 1st 2 NFL seasons. 49ers led NFL with 9 players selected to Pro Bowl: LB NA VORRO BOWMAN (1st), S DASHON GOLDSON (2nd), RB FRANK GORE (4th), G MIKE IUPATI (1st), LB ALDON SMITH (1st), DT JUSTIN SMITH (4th), T JOE STALEY (2nd), S DONTE WHITNER (1st) & LB PATRICK WILLIS (6th)...Last week, 49ers set single-game franchise postseason records with 579 total net yards & 323 rush yards. QB COLIN KAEPERNICK is 6-2 (.750) as starter (incl. playoffs). In those 8 starts, has 98.7 passer rating with 12 TDs vs. 4 INTs & 419 rush yards with 4 TDs. In 1st career playoff start, passed for 263 yards with 2 TDs & rushed for 181 yards with 2 TDs. His 181 rush yards are most ever by QB in any NFL game. Joined HOFer OTTO GRAHAM (twice) & JAY CUTLER as only QBs with 2+ pass TDs & 2+ rush TDs in postseason game...RB Gore rushed for 1,214 yards, his team-record 6th 1,000-yard season. Is franchise leader with 8,839 career rush yards & 51 career rush TDs. Rushed for 119 yards & TD last week...WR MICHAEL CRABTREE had career-high 85 catches, 1,105 yards & 9 TDs. Had 9 catches for 119 yards & 2 TDs in Divisional game. In past 4 (incl. playoffs), has 28 catches for 463 yards (115.8 per game) & 6 TDs. TE VERNON DAVIS has 11 catches for 336 yards (112 per game) & 4 TDs in 3 career playoff games. In playoffs, averages 30.5 yards per catch. Since 2009 (incl. playoffs), leads NFC TEs with 35 TDs. WR RANDY MOSS has 10 rec. TDs in playoff career, tied for 3rd most in NFL postseason history. Needs 2 rec. TDs in playoffs to tie HOFer JOHN STALLWORTH (12) for 2nd. In past 3 vs. Atl., has 24 catches for 331 yards (110.3 per game) & 2 TDs. Aims for 3rd in row vs. Atl. with 100+ yards or TD...Team had 16 giveaways, tied for 2nd fewest in NFL...49ers led NFC in total defense (294.4 yards per game) & pass defense (200.2). Ranked 2nd in run defense (94.2). LB Aldon Smith's 33.5 sacks are most by player in 1st 2 seasons. Led NFC with team-record 19.5 sacks. Has 15 sacks in past 11 (incl. playoffs). Has sack in 2 of 3 career playoff games. Had FF last week in Div. LB Bowman led team with 144 tackles. Has 30 tackles in past 3 playoff games. LB Willis ranked 2nd on team with 120 tackles. Aims for 3rd playoff game in row with sack. Has been selected to Pro Bowl in each of 1st 6 seasons. DT Justin Smith has sack in 2 of past 3 playoff games. CB TARELL BROWN had INT in Divisional game. Aims for 3rd game in row (incl. playoffs) with INT. Has INT in 2 of past 3 postseason games.
[49ers web site: Niners Nation]
FALCONS: Have qualified for postseason in three consecutive years for 1st time in franchise history. Under head coach MIKE SMITH, team has made playoffs in 4 of past 5 seasons. Club has posted 5 consecutive winnings seasons for 1st time in franchise history. Falcons had 3 players selected to Pro Bowl: TE TONY GONZALEZ (13th), WR JULIO JONES (1st) & QB MATT RYAN (2nd)...QB Ryan has 56 regular-season wins as starter, most by QB in 1st 5 NFL seasons. Recorded 1st career playoff win last week & tied franchise postseason record with 3 TD passes. Passed for team-record 4,719 yards & 32 TDs. His 68.6 comp. pct. was also a club record. Had career-high 99.1 passer rating, 2nd highest mark in franchise history. In career at home (incl. playoffs), is 34-6 (.850). Has posted 100+ rating in 33 games & Falcons are 32-1 (.970). Has 100+ rating in 20 home games & Atlanta is 20-0. Pass offense averaged 281.8 net pass yards per game, highest in team history. Offense averaged 369.1 net yards per game, 2nd best mark in franchise history (376.6 in 2011)...RB MICHAEL TURNER rushed for 10 TDs, his team-record 5th consecutive 10 TD season. Has 10+ rush TDs in all 5 seasons with Atl. Since joining Atl. in 2008, has 62 rush TDs, 2nd most in NFL (incl. playoffs). Has rush TD in 6 of past 8. Rushed for 98 yards last week...WRs RODDY WHITE (1,351) & Jones (1,198) are 1st Falcons teammates with 1,000+ rec. yards in same season since 1998. White had team-record 6th consecutive 1,000-yard season. Since 2007 (incl. playoffs), has 590 receptions, most in NFC. Set club single-game postseason record with 11 catches in 1/3/09 WC. Had 47-yard TD last week. In last 2 vs. SF, White has 15 catches for 314 yards (157 per game) & 2 TDs. Jones had 6 catches & sealed game with INT last week. 1st player since KEYSHAWN JOHNSON with 5+ catches & INT in postseason game (1/10/99). TE Gonzalez was named to 13th Pro Bowl, most ever for TE. Led team with 93 catches. Has 5 seasons with 90+ receptions, most by TE in NFL history. Holds NFL record with 14 consecutive seasons with 60+ catches. Had TD in Div...DE JOHN ABRAHAM has 126 career sacks, most by active player (incl. playoffs). Led team with 10 sacks, his 7th season with 10+ sacks. LBs STEPHEN NICHOLAS & SEAN WEATHERSPOON tied for team lead with 95 tackles. CB ASANTE SAMUEL led team with 19 passes defensed & was 2nd on club with 5 INTs. Has INT in 3 of past 4 games. Holds NFL postseason record with 4 career INT-TDs. Has 7 career INTs in playoffs, 2nd most by active player & tied for 6th most in NFL history. S THOMAS DE COUD was 2nd among S with 6 INTs. DeCoud & WILLIAM MOORE (4) were only S teammates with 4+ INTs each.
[Falcons web site: The Falcoholic]