Created on: January 22, 2013
The 2013 Conference Championship Weekend has come and gone in the National Football League. Fans of the game were entertained by an NFC Championship Game that featured one team exploding out to a big lead, only to be chased down and passed in the end. In the AFC, a heavy favorite took to the field against a strangely confident team who felt like destiny was on their side. When the dust settled late Sunday evening, the San Francisco 49ers and Baltimore Ravens had punched their ticket to
New Orleans, where they will meet in Super Bowl XLVII on February 3, 2013.
The matchup will bring together two head coaches that have a lot in common most notably that they are brothers. When the ball kicks off two weeks from Sunday, it will mark the first time that brothers have opposed each other as head coaches in a Super Bowl game. Jon Harbaugh will lead a Baltimore Ravens squad that he has taken to the playoffs each of his five seasons, three times making it to the AFC Championship game. Jim Harbaugh is just as impressive, with his San Francisco 49ers going 24-7-1 during his tenure, reaching the NFC Championship game both years he has coached.
The way the two teams got to this point were intriguing, to say the least. San Francisco got out to a nice lead in the NFC West, but then struggled somewhat down the stretch, almost getting caught by Seattle. Jim Harbaugh made a controversial move in midseason, leaving in backup quarterback Colin Kaepernick over incumbent Alex Smith. It surprised many, upset Smith, but has proved to be beneficial for the team. Kaepernick has played lights out in the postseason.
He rushed for 181 yards and two touchdowns in a beat down of Green Bay, where he also passed for two scores. He was not as flashy in the NFC Championship game against Atlanta, but unlike his counterpart Matt Ryan, did not commit any turnovers and managed the game well. Early on, it did not seem that the youngster would have much of a chance. Atlanta darted out to a 17-0 lead before the 49ers could get on the board. The 49ers defense stiffened after that, allowing only one more score.
Kaepernick took over in the second half, handing off to his backs while using tight end Vernon Davis as a sure handed target to ground down the Falcons secondary. With a little over four minutes to go, Frank Gore finally gave the 49ers the lead, making it 28-24. The defense allowed Atlanta to drive the field, but stopped Ryan on an incomplete pass at the four yard line. Just like that, San
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Ravens and 49ers to meet in Superbowl XLVII