49ers are NFC Champs!
Team to face Baltimore Ravens in "Har-bowl"
By Hujatullah Bayat
Sunday’s game against the Falcons started exactly as every 49ers fan feared it would, with Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan slinging the ball effortlessly, and his two receivers plucking the ball out of thin air. Any happiness that fans felt about their team being in the NFC Championship game quickly faded with every completion Ryan threw.
Before the first quarter had even ended, Falcons receiver Julio Jones was posting career numbers in every receiving category. The score read 17-0, and the Niners had a total of -2 yards in offense. Then, all of a sudden, the Niners started to play. They somehow stopped the bleeding and returned to the devastating running game that has carried them all season.
By half time, the score was 14-24, with the Falcons still controlling the pace of the game. One thing the Falcons could not do was maintain the lead and take time off the clock in the second half, due to the lack of a running game. The Niners’ offense played like a team possessed, making it to the red zone five times and scoring four of those times. The Falcons did not score after the first half.
Statistics aside, the 49ers dominated the game once they actually showed up, and in an entirely different manner than they did in last week’s game. Quarterback Colin Kaepernick threw the ball 21 times, but only ran twice this week, showcasing how versatile he really is.
Perhaps the most amazing aspect of the game was how explosive the Niners’ offense looked and how quickly they put points on the scoreboard. The key play of the game was an interception of Ryan by Chris Culliver. Although it didn’t result in a score, it did prevent the Falcons from scoring.
It was that kind of an afternoon, a shootout until the end. The final minutes of the game came down to what we all expected — the Falcons’ offense versus the great 49er defense.
The win on Sunday not only advances the 49ers to the Super Bowl, but validates the quarterback change made midseason by coach Jim Harbaugh. San Francisco has officially advanced further than last year, with a different quarterback.
With the 49ers crowned as the NFC Champions, facing the Baltimore Ravens, a special Super Bowl has been set, pitting coach Jim Harbaugh against his brother, the Ravens’ coach, John.
Hujatullah Bayat is a third-year dental student.