The NFC was certainly interesting last week. The 49ers and Packers were neck and neck at halftime but Jim Harbuagh made some incredible second half adjustments, and Colin Kaepernick looked unstoppable. In Atlanta, the Falcons jumped out to a 20-0 lead at halftime, only to have Pete Carroll make all the second half adjustments, and almost pull off the comeback victory. Now, San Fran is travelling most of the country to take their second shot at the Super Bowl in as many years.
How the Falcons can Win: Well it was a struggle in the second half, but Matt Ryan and the Atlanta Falcons finally got that elusive playoff victory. It wasn’t the prettiest win, but they do have at least one good half of football to build off of from last week. Julio Jones has fully panned out as the weapon that Atlanta was hoping to get when they traded most of their draft to go up and get him. Ryan is full of weapons on the offensive side, and they will need to be in full force against a dominant at times 49ers defense. On the other side of the ball, the Falcons got plenty of preparation for Kaep next week by facing off against Russell Wilson last week. Falcons fans are surely concerned after seeing Wilson run wild with ease at times against this D. That will have to change if they want the beat the Niners.
How the 49ers can Win: Does anyone still doubt that Jim Harbaugh was wrong to go with Kaeprenick? Alex Smith would never have been able to put up 45 against Green Bay last week, but Kaep did it, and made it look easy. They absolutely crushed the Packers in the second half, and even though this game is in Atlanta, I and many I’m sure see the Niners as the favorite. Kaep has not only rejuvenated the running attack for this team, but he has also brought out the potential we always new Michael Crabtee could have. If they can get Vernon Davis more involved, the offense will be nearly impossible to stop. Oh yeah, they also have that defense. The one with Patrick Willis, Navarro Bowman, and the Smith’s on the line. They are just too good it seems.
Our Prediction: The 49ers should have won the NFC last year. A couple Kyle Williams mistakes cost them, but I don’t think that will happen this year. I think Kaep has a giant game for the Niners, and the Falcons will struggle to stop him. The Niners have the speed and the strength in the linebacking core to neutralize Tony Gonzalez, and they will also shut down the ATL running attack. If the Falcons want to win, they will have to keep the crowd involved throughout the game, and they will do that by running the ball, making big plays, and slowing down this newly vaunted San Fran attack. I like the Niners to break through the ceiling from last year, and get Jim Harbaugh to the Super Bowl with a 34-31 win.
What do you guys think will happen? Will the Niners break through to the Super Bowl? Or will they be denied again, this time by the Falcons.