The Falcons raced out to a 17-0 lead when QB Matt Ryan connected with wide receiver Julio Jones (11 catches for 182 yards) on a 20-yard TD pass, which was his second scoring reception of the game.
The 'Niners closed to within 17-14 late in the first half on scores by running back LeMichael James (15-yard run) and a four yard TD pass from Kaepernick to tight end Vernon Davis.
But the Falcons, who were shut out in the second half, scored again for a 24-14 halftime lead when Ryan (396 passing yards and three touchdowns with one interception) hit tight end Tony Gonzalez on a 10-yard pass.
San Francisco did all the scoring in the second half as Gore (pictured upper right) ran for both scores and the defense did the rest, stopping the Falcons in the red zone in the final minutes of the game and also intercepting Ryan and recovering a fumble by the Falcons' signal caller to make the difference for their ticket to the Super Bowl.
Joining San Francisco Head Coach Jim Harbaugh in New Orleans will be his brother John, the Head Coach of the Baltimore Ravens.
The Ravens (13-6) went into Gillette Stadium and beat down the mighty New England Patriots, 28-13 behind solid defense (two interceptions and a fumble recovery) and the steady play of QB Joe Flacco, who threw for three touchdowns in the second half as the Ravens shut out the Patriots after trailing 13-7 at halftime.
|Ravens QB Joe Flacco reacts to one of his three TD passes in a 28-13 win over the Patriots.|
Flacco's five-yard scoring toss to tight end Dennis Pitta in the third quarter put the Ravens ahead 14-13.
New England QB Tom Brady suffered through a miserable second half and was intercepted twice in the final seven minutes of the game after the Ravens opened up the 28-13 advantage. In addition, the Patriots turned the ball over on a fumble by running back Stevan Ridley, who was crushed by Bernard Pollard early in the fourth quarter as the Pats were driving for a potential go-ahead score.
It was the Ravens third trip to the AFC Championship Game in five seasons and they finally won the game and will now face the San Francisco 49ers in the Super Bowl.