The San Francisco 49ers, overcoming a 17-0 first-half deficit against the Atlanta Falcons, will be going to the Super Bowl where, for the first time in NFL history, two brothers as head coaches will combat each other for the NFL’s prestigious Lombardi Trophy.
Holding the Falcons to one touchdown in the second half, the 49ers surgically demolished the Falcons to win 28-24, overcoming a 17-0 Falcons' first-half lead.
Frank Gore, scored a pair of touchdowns of which one, at 8:23 to go in the game, put the 49ers ahead 28-24 for the first time in the game.
"I take my hat off to Atlanta. They played hard. They've got a great team. But we fought, man. We fought and we deserved it." Gore said.
Jim Harbaugh who rarely shows his emotions was all smiles at the end of the game, hugging everyone he could on the way to the locker room.
"Everybody does a little," 49ers coach Jim Harbaugh said, "and it adds up to be a lot."
A poised Colin Kaepernick, the Sports Illustrated cover boy, calmly brought the 49ers back amassing 233 passing yards on 16 of 23 completions.
Opening up the ground game for Frank Gore, Vernon Davis had five receptions for 106 yards and Michael Crabtree six receptions for 57 yards.
The read-option run for Kaepernick was notably absent.
"I kind of figured that coming in and they showed that on film, so I assumed Frank and LaMichael were going to have a big day," Kaepernick said.
It was sweet redemption for the 49ers who lost last year’s NFC Championship game to the NY Giants on a fumbled punt return.
This year, it was Falcons’ QB Matt Ryan whose fumbles were advantageous for the 49ers.
"Against a good team, you can't have those kind of mistakes," Ryan said.
It will be Harbaugh’s 49ers vs Harbaugh’s Ravens in Super Bowl XLVII in New Orleans February 3rd.
Both the 49ers and the Ravens scored 28 points in their respective championship game wins.
For Atlanta, it was the end of a Hall of fame career for Tony Gonzalez.
“I kinda didn’t want to take it off (his uniform) knowing it’ll be the last time but everything has to come to an end.” Gonzalez said.