The San Francisco 49ers closed out Candlestick Park with a bang. Navarro Bowman came up with a game breaking play that will be another of many memorable moments for the 49ers. This game was not supposed to be this close but, the NFL has given us so many surprises this year. The Atlanta Falcons were able to score some points despite falling short of the 49ers 34-24. This was a game for the ages, an epic way to hold on for the 49ers.
The Falcons tested the 49ers fourth ranked passing defense. Matt Ryan was able to complete 37 of his 48 atempts for 348 yards and two touchdowns. Roddy White was able to have another solid game against the 49ers at Candlestick Park. He was a major factor in the Falcons victory over the 49ers when they came to Candlestick in 2009. White had eight receptions, 210 yards and two touchdowns back then. This time White had 12 catches, 141 yards and one touchdown.
The defense came up huge at the end. Tramaine Brock broke on a Matt Ryan pass intended for Harry Douglas. His aggressive play resulted in a pass breakup that landed in the hands of Navorro Bowman. Bowman took it back 89 yards for a touchdown. Jim Harbaugh called the play one of the best he’s ever seen.
The 49ers continued to be stout against the run as well. They shut down the Falcons running game and held them on numerous third and short running plays. The Falcons where able to only muster up 61 total yards rushing averaging three yards per carry.
The offense continued to come alive this week against the 49ers. Colin Kaepernick is working his way back towards being the play maker that he was last year. He was very decisive on a few plays where he took off for big gains. Kaepernick even called his own number in a goal line situation where the Falcons defense was spread out. The 49ers are a dangerous team when Kaepernick is playing as a dual threat to the defense.
Anquan Boldin has been one of the best acquisitions during the off season. He was able to break the 1000 yard receiving barrier this year. That is only the second time that a receiver had done so since the Terrell Owens era. He has become a reliable safety option for Kaepernick. The two have formed a great degree of chemistry. It was on display when Kaepernick checked to in which Boldin ran a fade route. Kaepernick put the perfect touch on the ball as he floated it up field. Boldin went up to make the catch over the defensive back for a 22 yard catch.
Michael Crabtree recorded his first 100 yard receiving game this year as well. He showed why he is so important to the 49ers offense. Crabtree was able to win at the line of scrimmage and get inside positioning against Robert Alford on a slant. He came through with a 22 yard catch on third down.
The 49ers also got the running game going. Frank Gore was able to push through for 97 yards on 21 carries. Kendall Hunter and Kaepernick both had 51 yards rushing as well. The 49ers are very hard to beat when they are able to get their running game going. They gained a total of 199 yards rushing against the Falcons.
Boyz II Men are big fans of the 49ers. They sang their song, “End of The Road” in honor of closing out Candlestick Park during post game festivities.
Terrell Owens and Jerry Rice stood on the stage talking to each other during the ceremony.
Other greats such as Eddie DeBartolo Jr., Ronnie Lott and Roger Craig were on hand. Some non football greats included Willie Mays and Willie McCovey.
Quinton Patton saw limited snaps in this game and did not record a reception today.
Kasim Osgood had a 17 yard reception. That was his first since 2011.
Vernon Davis was targeted on a few attempts but did not record a reception. He dropped one pass that was under thrown by Kaepernick. He misjudged the ball on another pass. The training staff was looking at his eyes and wiping his face with a towel during a stretch of plays in which Davis was not on the field.
Vance McDonald continued to have a rough year receiving the ball. He dropped a pass today and fell down as he made his cut towards the sideline as Kaepernick tried to hit him on the corner route.
Phil Dawson was good on for his 25th consecutive field goal attempt.
Tramaine Brock recorded his sixth interception and is now second only to Richard Sherman who is leading the NFL with eight.
The 49ers can clinch home field advantage with a win over the Arizona Cardinals on the road coupled with a Seattle Seahawks loss to the St. Louis Rams. They have clinched a playoff spot though.