Colin Kaepernick protected in the pocket
January, 20, 2013
By ESPN Stats & Info | ESPN.com
Matthew Emmons/USA TODAY SportsColin Kaepernick (right) and Vernon Davis (middle) gave the Falcons fits for most of the game.For the second straight week, the Atlanta Falcons let a big lead at home get away from them.
Only this time they were not able to come from behind and win.
According to the Elias Sports Bureau, the San Francisco 49ers' 17-point comeback (they trailed 17-0) is the third largest road comeback in postseason history. The record is owned by the 1957 Detroit Lions, who came back from a 20-point deficit at San Francisco. It was the second largest deficit overcome to win a conference championship game. That record is held by the 2006 Indianapolis Colts, who overcame an 18-point deficit against the New England Patriots.
The 49ers' win snapped their five-game playoff road losing streak, winning on the road for the first time since beating the Bears in Chicago in the 1988 NFC Championship Game.
Davis does damage
Vernon Davis had been virtually nonexistent leading up to the NFC Championship Game. In the previous seven games, Davis had seven receptions for 105 yards and no touchdowns. Against the Falcons, Davis had five receptions for 106 yards and a touchdown -- his first TD reception from Colin Kaepernick since Week 11, which was Kaepernick's first start.
Davis was targeted six times on Sunday, this after being targeted an average of three times per game in Kaepernick's first eight starts.
Atlanta struggled defending tight ends this postseason. During the regular season, only one tight end (Jimmy Graham) had 100 yards receiving against the Falcons. This postseason, they allowed two such games. (Seattle's Zach Miller had 142 yards in the divisional round.)
Containing Ryan’s deep throws
Matt Ryan threw for 271 yards and three touchdowns in the first half. However, after halftime he had 125 yards passing and turned it over twice with an interception and a fumble. Ryan's 396 yards passing are a franchise record in a playoff game, breaking the previous record of 366 set by Jeff George in 1995.
In the first half, Ryan was 11-for-12 with two touchdowns on throws more than 10 yards downfield and averaged more than 18 yards an attempt. However, in the second half he attempted just six throws and completed four of them, averaging just more than 12 yards an attempt.
Colin Kaepernick was kept in the pocket on 21 of his 23 dropbacks (91.3 percent), his highest rate of the season, but he averaged 11.5 yards per pass attempt inside the pocket. That was his highest rate since his first start in Week 11 (13.5 yards per attempt).
Also of note
Also according to Elias, the Falcons are the first home "dome" team to lose the conference championship game since the 1998 Minnesota Vikings, who lost to the Falcons.
The Falcons also are the first No. 1 seed from the NFC to lose in the conference championship game since the 2003 Philadelphia Eagles.
San Francisco will be going to its sixth Super Bowl, and its first since the 1994 season.
The 49ers have never lost in the Super Bowl (5-0); however, history is not on their side. No team has ever won the Super Bowl without winning at least three straight games during that regular season. And the 49ers did not win three straight games in 2012.