The San Francisco 49ers will be traveling to Atlanta this weekend to take on the Atlanta Falcons for the NFC Championship. they’ll be bringing an incredible amount of confidence, quarterback Colin Kaepernick, and a stifling defense. They’ll also be bringing a sense of destiny that 2012 is their year. they trashed the Green Bay Packers last week and that momentum is going to be a hard thing to stop.
For the Atlanta Falcons, having finally gotten the playoff monkey off the backs of Mike Smith and Matt Ryan, it’s going to be their biggest challenge. But Atlanta has been singularly tough in the Georgia Dome in 2012, having given up only a single loss.
In my mind the Falcons still haven’t gotten their act together. This is a team that could be much better than they’ve shown. If they’ve been waiting to pull all the pieces of the puzzle into one big Super Bowl picture then now is the time. The Atlanta defense is going to be under pressure in a big way. It took Russell Wilson a little while to get things rolling and Seattle made some key mistakes in that game. I don’t anticipate the 49ers doing the same. Colin Kaepernick seems to have a little more savvy about pulling the ball down and running with it, and he’s got a defense that in my mind is tougher than that of Seattle. The San Francisco defense will hurt you physically and running on them is a brutal endeavor.
The flip side of that is for Atlanta to find a way to take advantage of that aggressive attitude. Using Tony Gonzales to clip the wings of the linebackers is one way. But sooner or later the Falcons will have to get one of their big play receivers open.
Either of these teams could stamp out their Super Bowl tickets and find themselves in New Orleans. If I had to make a pick, and I don’t but I will, I’m thinking San Francisco makes the cut and Atlanta is left hanging again.Eric Drouant