The Atlanta Falcons fell short in a 28-24 loss against the San Francisco 49ers in the NFC Championship. Despite having home field advantage, the team was unable to pull off a win. This was future Hall of Famer Tony Gonzalez’s last chance at reaching the Super Bowl. The Falcons started off strong, taking a 17-0 lead during the first half, but were shut out in the second. The team had a strong season, having lost only three games, but their luck ran out just 10 yards shy of the big game.
For a team poised to bring home the first championship in the franchise’s 47 year history, this was a stunning conclusion. Quarterback Matt Ryan finished the game with 396 yards in passes and three touchdowns. For the Falcons, the offseason will likely focus on upgrading the defense and figuring out how to replace Gonzalez, who is scheduled to retire this year. In the case of running back Michael Turner, the Falcons will also have to replace him, if he decides not to return. The 49ers have now advanced to the Super Bowl XLVII where they will take on the Baltimore Ravens, led by Ray Lewis. This will be the first time in history that brothers John and Jim Harbaugh coach against one another. John Harbaugh is coach for the Ravens and Jim coaches the 49ers.
Super Bowl XLVII will held in New Orleans on February 3, 2013 at 6:30 p.m. ET and aired on CBS.