The 49ers advanced after defeating the Atlanta Falcons 28-24 in what turned out to be a very exciting game to watch. The script for the Falcons was very similar to last week's playoff game against the Seahawks; they got off to a tremendous start, but let the opposition get back into the game in the second half. This time around, they needed more than a field goal to win or tie the game, and they didn't get it.
I was very hesitant on Jim Harbaugh's decision earlier this year to switch to Colin Kaepernick as his full-time starting quarterback, but it has paid huge dividends. He can execute everything that the 49ers offense is about, and his combination of arm strength and mobility make him one of the most dangerous quarterbacks in the NFL. Now, after less than a full season of being a start, Kaepernick gets to play in the Super Bowl.
The Ravens advanced after stunning the New England Patriots 28-13. The Ravens overcame all odds by beating the best wildcard team in the AFC in the first round, and then beating the top two seeds in the AFC on the road.
Baltimore shut out the Patriots in the second half, and for New England, it was a game of too many miscues. In particular, I think about the mismanagement of time before the end of the first half, Wes Welker dropping a third-down conversion, and Tom Brady not being as pinpoint on his throws as he usually is. There were also some misfortunes for New England, such as Aqib Talib going down early to injury, and Steven Ridley getting popped, forcing a fumble that really ended up sealing the deal for Baltimore.
The Super Bowl will be played Feb. 3, 2013, televised on CBS, with the game starting at 6:29 PM ET. There will be plenty of storylines leading up to the game, namely the brother vs. brother implications, and Ray Lewis' final game. We'll have a ton of Super Bowl coverage here at Dawgs By Nature throughout the week, so stay tuned. Also, don't forget to check out SB Nation's recap videos of both of the conference championship games.