Justin Smith, Patrick Willis and Donte Whitner put fear in the eyes of opposing offenses while Aldon Smith and his 19.5 sacks was a threat to the quarterback each contest.
In the first 13 games of the 2012 NFL season the 49ers defense shut the opposition down allowing only 184 points, but something happened along the way to greatness.
Including the playoffs, in their last five games they have allowed 144 points, an average of XX, and a difference of
By half-time Matt Ryan had already destroyed the San Francisco 49ers defense. Ryan was 18 of 24, with 271 passing yards and three touchdowns. His 18 completions were to only three players, Julio Jones (7), Roddy White (6) Tony Gonzalez (5 and more than half of Atlanta’s 33 plays resulted in first downs (17). In fact, it wasn’t until five minutes into the 4th quarter someone other than those three would catch a ball.
The stellar defense of the 49ers only allows 206 passing yards per game, but in only the first half they allowed 271, the most since 2009.
Colin Kaepernick and the 49ers offense continued to chip away at the lead and scored on three consecutive possessions driving 85, 76, and 82 yards for touchdowns.
The 49ers inability to rush the passer gave Matt Ryan the time in the pocket to pick the defense apart and it wasn’t until the middle of the third quarter when the pressure finally amounted to a Matt Ryan turnover. The interception by Chris Culliver and then subsequent fumble by Matty Ice gave the 49ers a lead 28-24.
Something special took place in the second half for the 49ers defense. Justin Smith, Patrick Willis and Donte Whitner played a little bit harder. Aldon Smith started to become a threat and after 18 pass completions Matt Ryan would only complete four passes during the second half and wouldn’t score.
The 49ers were only 1-27 when trailing by 17 points or more in the first half.
What seemed to be improbable has become a reality. The San Francisco 49ers are on their way to Super Bowl XLVII.