Harbaugh vs. Harbaugh, the ultimate family rivalry. For the first time ever Jim Harbaugh and John Harbaugh will meet on the largest stage in the NFL, the super bowl. This will make for some very awkward dinner table conversation when the holidays roll around next year.
Jim Harbaugh, head coach of the 49ers, defeated the Atlanta Falcons this weekend to advance to the super bowl, while only a couple hours later his brother John Harbaugh, head coach of the Baltimore Ravens defeated the Patriots in Foxboro.
The first game this weekend was action packed, as the 49ers, lead by backup QB Colin Kaepernick, went up against the seemingly ageless Tony Gonzalez, and offensively dynamic Falcons offense.
The game started out with in the favor of the Falcons, as they scored 17 unanswered points throughout the first quarter and into the beginning of the second quarter.
Between two touchdown passes to Julio Jones (one from 46 and another from 20) and a 35 yard field from Matt Bryan t, The Falcons felt right at home, and in control of the game.
At one point, early in the second quarter Julio Jones had racked up 100 receiving yards as opposed to the 49ers total 2yards on offense. It seemed like the Falcons were in control of the game.
The Falcons comfortable lead would not last as the 49ers chipped away with a 15 yard run from LaMichael James, and a 4 yard touchdown pass to tight end, Vernon Davis. With the 49ers only trailing by three the Falcons were starting to feel the pressure, and the distance from the super bowl.
A ten yard pass to Tony Gonzalez, helped the Falcons calm down as they expanded their lead to 24-14.
Now into the third quarter, the 49ers needing a pair of touchdowns to ensure a victory went out and did just that. The only score of the third quarter was a five yard touchdown run by Frank Gore, bringing the score to a manageable 21-24.
With a field goal to tie, and a touchdown to win the 49ers had a whole quarter to stop the Falcons dominant offense, and score a touchdown.
Frank Gore came up big in the fourth quarter with another touchdown run, pushing the 49ers into the lead, by four points, forcing the Falcons to strive for the end zone.
The game came down to one play on fourth down with a little under a minute left to play, stop the Falcons here in the red zone and the 49ers go to the super bowl.
With the Georgia Dome loud, and aggressive, the ball was snapped and Matt
Ryan dropped, back hoping to save the Falcons post-season hopes. Ryan released the ball to trusted wide receiver Roddy White, but a great defensive play by number 53, Ahmad Brooks ended the play, the game, and the Falcons super bowl dreams.
The 49ers go to the super bowl for the first time in 18 years, after overcoming a 17-0 deficit.
The other game that evening was the more anticipated of the two, as it was an AFC championship rematch, and vengeance was sweet.
This game, different from the other one had a rather slow start, as the Patriots only managed to put up a field goal in the first quarter, the Ravens failed to score.
The AFC matchup did not turn out to be a disappointment though, as things started to heat up during the second quarter. A two yard run from Ravens running back Ray Rice, put them up 7-3, the Patriots quickly responded with a one yard touchdown to Wes Welker, and then a 25 yard field goal by Gostkowski to bring the score to a rather close 13-7. While they did not know it at the time, these were the last points that the Patriots were going to score for the rest of the game.
The Ravens quickly took over the game and dominated the Patriots for the third and fourth quarters. A five yard pass to Dennis Pitta, put the Ravens on top, where they would stay.
Then in the fourth quarter Flacco added to the score with a 3 yard pass to Anquan Boldin. Now with an expanding gap of 21-13, the Patriots had to find an offensive rhythm and start making some plays, and putting some points on the board.
Unfortunately it was the Ravens who kept putting points on the board as Flacco met Boldin in the end zone again for six with an 11 yard pass.
Now with about 10 minutes left, and down 15 points the Patriots had to put up some touchdowns and a little bit more.
But Ray Lewis and tenacious Ravens defense did not allow it, as the Ravens got their vengeance, and a place in the super bowl.
Ray Lewis will get the chance to play in his second super bowl, and his last.
In two weeks the 49ers and the Ravens will meet in New Orleans, as Jim and John Harbaugh will go head to head in the best family rivalry in the NFL ever.
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