Sun January 20, 2013
Falcons Lose NFC Championship and Chance To Play In Super Bowl
A trip to the Super Bowl was on the line.
The Atlanta Falcons were one win away, but the team’s history making season came to an end.
Perhaps the Vegas odds makers knew something the Atlanta Falcons didn’t.
The betting line had the San Francisco 49ners as four point favorites.
That’s despite the Falcons playing at home and the 49ners being 24 years removed from their last road playoff win.
Before the game, fans like Phillip Velo were confident the Falcons would win.
“Atlanta, GA baby, they’re going to win,” said Velo outside the Georgia Dome.
In the first half of the game, it looked like Velo and the hometown fans would be celebrating a victory.
The Falcons jumped out to a 17 point lead.
The 49ners seemed flat, but managed to score two touchdowns.
Still the Falcons led 24 to 14 at half.
Then it happened again.
Score Atlanta sports writer Brian Jones was in the press box inside the Georgia Dome watching the Falcons lose a big lead.
“You had the Super bowl in the grasp of your hands. You were leading that game going into the 4th quarter. If you would have would have just made one or possibly two more plays in your favor then, you would be going to New Orleans and not San Francisco.”
Led by quarterback Colin Kaepernick and running back Frank Gore, the 49ners scored on their opening drive of the 2nd half and again in the 4th quarter to take a 28 to 24 lead.
Unlike last weekend, there would be no late game heroics for the Falcons.
After the game, a dejected Falcons head coach Mike Smith addressed the media.
“In a nutshell, we just didn’t make enough plays to win the ball game. We played hard; we had our chances for this to be a different outcome. We just came up short.”
Another sad note for the Falcons, this was probably tight end Tony Gonzalez’s last game.
He’s expected to retire.
"The 5:44" with Denis O'Hayer