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NFC Championship 2013: Who Will Win, San Francisco or Atlanta?

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USA TODAY Sports

This Sunday, the San Francisco 49ers travel to the Georgia Dome to take on the Atlanta Falcons in the NFC Championship game. The game will kick off at 3:00 pm ET and will be commentated by Joe Buck and Troy Aikman on FOX.

Doesn't it still seem a little surreal that the Atlanta Falcons are hosting the NFC Championship? I keep wanting to believe that this game is being held at Candlestick Park, but the 49ers are indeed traveling on the road. There is a reason for that: heading into this game, San Francisco was viewed as one of the two best teams in the NFC. They took care of the Packers in impressive fashion last week behind a record-breaking day from quarterback Colin Kaepernick. Their defense is intimidating and lights out. It seems like playing this game is just a formality for them.

Atlanta actually came really close to changing my perception about them last week when they were dominating the Seahawks for the first half of the game. For the first time all season, I thought, "man, it looks like the Falcons have finally gotten over that hump." I thought that reputation could carry over into the next week or two. And then, in the second half, they completed the collapse by surrendering a big lead to the Seahawks. Matt Ryan and Tony Gonzalez did bail the Falcons out by setting Matt Bryant up with a game-winning field goal, but the damage had already been done.

This is still an intriguing matchup in the sense that these two teams have not faced each other over the past two seasons. Maybe Atlanta will have an edge on the 49ers; there have been certain teams that San Francisco has struggled with this year (mostly in their division), and that could play a factor. Or, what happens if Kaepernick's rise to stardom falls flat this week?

Vote in the poll below for who you think will represent the NFC in the Super Bowl. I'll have my prediction for the game in Sunday's game thread.