2014 DRAFT GUIDE
Bowman, 49ers shut down Falcons in 2nd half

By GEORGE HENRY - Associated Press
    2013-01-20 18:02

ATLANTA (AP) - The 49ers defense needed time to warm up, then shut out the Falcons in the second half and allow San Francisco to stage a record rally in the NFC championship game.

Linebacker NaVorro Bowman knocked away a fourth-down pass intended for Roddy White with 1:13 left helped preserve a 28-24 victory Sunday that sent San Francisco to the Super Bowl for the first time since 1995.

It was yet another big play for a defense that allowed Atlanta to take a 17-0 early in the second quarter, and a 24-14 lead at halftime. The 49ers put the clamps on Matt Ryan and Atlanta's high-powered passing attack over the final 30 minutes.

Midway through the third, cornerback Chris Culliver intercepted a pass by Ryan at the San Francisco 38. Though the Niners' offense failed to score off the turnover when David Akers missed a 38-yard field goal attempt, defensive end Aldon Smith followed on the next defensive series by recovering Ryan's fumble on a botched shotgun snap.

The turn of events contrasted sharply from the early stages of the game when the 49ers appeared to have no answer for Ryan, White, Julio Jones and Tony Gonzalez.

By the first minute of the second quarter, Jones had scored two TDs, beating cornerback Tarell Brown both times. On the first score, it seemed that Brown mistakenly released Jones on a deep route, and the blown coverage allowed Jones to outrun free safety Dashon Goldson for a 46-yard score.

After Falcons kicker Matt Bryant's 35-yard field goal made it 10-0 on Atlanta's second possession, Ryan and Jones hooked up on a 20-yard TD. Jones caught the ball over his right shoulder in the left back corner of the end zone and deftly kept both feet inbounds to make it 17-0.

Jones and White combined for 226 yards receiving on 13 catches in the first half, many of them coming on underneath crossing routes as the two wideouts made several athletic plays.

In the second half, however, Jones and White combined for six catches and 62 yards.

Good fortune helped the Niners rally for the victory, too.

On the Falcons' final drive, cornerback Carlos Rogers fell down while covering slot receiver Harry Douglas on a deep pass near the right sideline, but San Francisco caught a big break when Douglas stumbled on his way to making a disputed 22-yard catch at the Niners' 28.

Had he stayed on his feet, Douglas could have scored a touchdown on Atlanta's final drive.

Fantasy Football Player Notes RSS FeedPLAYER NOTES

Ryan CladySep 17 06:13p

Denver Broncos DT Marvin Austin (non-injury), LB Lerentee McCray (knee) and LB Danny Trevathan (knee) did not practice Wednesday, Sept. 17. S David Bruton (shoulder) and OG Ben Garland [ More ]

Cyrus GraySep 17 06:03p

Kansas City Chiefs DB Husain Abdullah (foot, quadriceps), RB Cyrus Gray (foot), WR Frankie Hammond (shoulder), WR Junior Hemingway (hip), OL Eric Kush (shoulder), LB Josh Martin (quadriceps, triceps) [ More ]

M. Jones-DrewSep 17 06:03p

Oakland Raiders RB Maurice Jones-Drew (hand) did not practice Wednesday, Sept. 17.

Matt McCantsSep 17 06:03p

Oakland Raiders LB Sio Moore (ankle), CB Carlos Rogers (knee), WR Rod Streater (hip) and DE Justin Tuck (illness) did not practice Wednesday, Sept. 17. CB Chimdi Chekwa (knee), [ More ]

Anthony SpencerSep 17 05:53p

Dallas Cowboys DT Davon Coleman (knee), LB Justin Durant (groin), LB Rolando McClain (groin) and RB Joseph Randle (concussion) did not practice Wednesday, Sept. 17. DT Ken Bishop (illness), [ More ]

Montell OwensSep 17 05:53p

Detroit Lions DE Ezekiel Ansah (knee), LB Travis Lewis (quadriceps) and OT LaAdrian Waddle (calf) all did not participate in practice Wednesday, Sept. 17. DT Nick Fairley (biceps), SS [ More ]

Brad JonesSep 17 05:43p

Green Bay Packers OT Bryan Bulaga (knee) and DB Micah Hyde (knee) both were limited in practice Wednesday, Sept. 17. CB Casey Hayward (glute) and LB Brad Jones (quadriceps) [ More ]

Shaun HillSep 17 05:43p

St. Louis Rams QB Shaun Hill (thigh) was limited in practice Wednesday, Sept. 17.

Scott WellsSep 17 05:43p

St. Louis Rams CB Trumaine Johnson (knee), C Barrett Jones (back), TE Cory Harkey (knee) and C Scott Wells (non-injury) did not practice Wednesday, Sept. 17. CB Brandon McGee (foot) was limited.

Tavon AustinSep 17 05:43p

St. Louis Rams WR Tavon Austin (knee) did not practice Wednesday, Sept. 17.

Kirk CousinsSep 17 05:23p

Washington Redskins QB Robert Griffin III (ankle) could return around eight weeks after head coach Jon Gruden said Griffin will be in a cast for the next 10 days. [ More ]

Johnathan JosephSep 17 05:23p

Houston Texans LB Jadeveon Clowney (knee) and S Shiloh Keo (calf) did not practice Wednesday, Sept. 17. TE C.J. Fiedorowicz (foot), OG Ben Jones (ankle, knee), CB Johnathan Joseph [ More ]

Adrian PetersonSep 17 05:23p

The Minnesota Vikings intend to bring RB Adrian Peterson back after his legal issues are resolved.

Arian FosterSep 17 05:23p

Houston Texans RB Arian Foster (hamstring) was limited in practice Wednesday, Sept. 17.

C. WhitehurstSep 17 05:03p

Tennessee Titans CB Jason McCourty (groin) and LB Wesley Woodyard (ankle) were limited in practice Wednesday, Sept. 17. QB Charlie Whitehurst (finger) practiced in full.

Jonathan GoodwinSep 17 05:03p

New Orleans Saints C Jonathan Goodwin (elbow), LB David Hawthorne (ankle), SS Marcus Ball (hamstring) and FB Erik Lorig (ankle) did not participate in practice Wednesday, Sept. 17. LB [ More ]

Brandon ThompsonSep 17 05:03p

Cincinnati Bengals LB Vontaze Burfict (concussion), RB Rex Burkhead (knee), OG Mike Pollak (knee), LB Sean Porter (hamstring), DT Brandon Thompson (knee), OT Andrew Whitworth (knee), OG Kevin Zeitler [ More ]

Dexter McClusterSep 17 05:03p

Tennessee Titans RB Dexter McCluster (foot) was limited in practice Wednesday, Sept. 17, according to head coach Ken Whisenhunt. Whisenhunt thinks McCluster will improve as the week goes on. [ More ]

Greg HardySep 17 04:53p

Carolina Panthers DE Greg Hardy has agreed to be placed on the commissioner's exempt list, according to a source.

Xavier RhodesSep 17 04:53p

Minnesota Vikings DT Sharrif Floyd (shoulder), LB Chad Greenway (hand, rib) and OT Phil Loadholt (ankle) did not practice Wednesday, Sept. 17. CB Xavier Rhodes (groin), WR Rodney Smith [ More ]

Asa JacksonSep 17 04:53p

Baltimore Ravens DT Timmy Jernigan (knee) and OT Eugene Monroe (knee) both did not participate in practice Wednesday, Sept. 17. CB Asa Jackson (concussion) and CB Lardarius Webb (back) both fully participated in practice.

Kedric GolstonSep 17 04:53p

Washington Redskins DE Kedric Golston (groin), LB Akeem Jordan (knee) and CB Tracy Porter (hamstring) did not participate in practice Wednesday, Sept. 17. PK Kai Forbath (groin) and FB [ More ]

Kyle RudolphSep 17 04:53p

Minnesota Vikings TE Kyle Rudolph (abdomen) was limited in practice Wednesday, Sept. 17.

Paul McQuistanSep 17 04:53p

Cleveland Browns LB Barkevious Mingo (shoulder) was limited in practice Wednesday, Sept. 17. WR Travis Benjamin (knee), DE Desmond Bryant (wrist), DT John Hughes (hamstring), P Spencer Lanning (shoulder), [ More ]

Keith RiversSep 17 04:43p

Buffalo Bills LB Randell Johnson (knee) did not participate in practice Wednesday, Sept. 17. DT Stefan Charles (hip), LB Keith Rivers (groin) and WR Robert Woods (ankle) all were [ More ]

Wes WelkerSep 17 04:43p

Denver Broncos WR Wes Welker will return to the slot receiver position in Week 3 against the Seattle Seahawks, moving WR Emmanuel Sanders back outside opposite WR Demaryius Thomas. [ More ]

Brett KeiselSep 17 04:43p

Pittsburgh Steelers DE Brett Keisel (non-injury) and SS Troy Polamalu (non-injury) did not participate in practice Wednesday, Sept. 17. RB Dri Archer (ankle) and OG Ramon Foster (ankle) were [ More ]

Lance MooreSep 17 04:33p

Pittsburgh Steelers WR Lance Moore (groin) fully participated in practice Wednesday, Sept. 17.

Toby GerhartSep 17 04:33p

Jacksonville Jaguars RB Toby Gerhart (foot) did not practice Wednesday, Sept. 17.

Cecil Shorts IIISep 17 04:33p

Jacksonville Jaguars WR Cecil Shorts (hamstring) was limited in practice Wednesday, Sept. 17.

Eric DeckerSep 17 04:23p

New York Jets WR Eric Decker (hamstring) did not participate in the portion of practice open to the media Wednesday, Sept. 17.

T Y HiltonSep 17 04:23p

Indianapolis Colts WR T.Y. Hilton (groin) was limited at practice Wednesday, Sept. 17.

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