We have decided to go with the 49ers, the first team in nearly 30 years to be a road favorite! There has to be a reason for that. Let’s break down why we think that San Francisco will face the Patriots in the Super Bowl…
The ‘new breed’ of quarterback in 2012 has made for some exciting football although for the Falcons, they have created havoc. This season alone they split the season series with the Panthers and Cam Newton, and came within a hair of defeat against Russell Wilson. Cam Newton’s Panthers rolled up almost 900 yards of total offense in their two games vs the Falcons while the elusive QB rushed for over 200 yards and two TD’s vs them. He also passed for a combined total of 502 yards and 4 TD’s. Similarly, Wilson passed for 385 yards and two scores while rushing for 60 yards and a touchdown.
What stands out even more than these quarterback’s abilities to dominate Atlanta, is the implosion of the team in the second half of last week’s game. Up by 20 at the half, when it became 27-14, the Falcons went three and out, three and out, and four and out. Of course that was followed by the two passes against Seattle’s prevent-defense and the Bryant field goal to miraculously end the game, but that kind of collapse exposed the Falcons to some extent. With Colin Kaepernick, Frank Gore and upstart WR Michael Crabtree to deal with, another collapse like that and it might result in a much different outcome.
And the 49ers have another weapon in veteran TE Vernon Davis. Atlanta could not contain Seahawk’s TE Zach Miller last week who burned them for 8 receptions good for 142 yards and a touchdown.
Although listed as questionable, Defensive End, and staunch pass rusher John Abraham will play on Sunday but it’s not clear for how long or just how effective he will be. He is 13th in the NFL with 122 career sacks, however he hasn’t had one since November 29th in the game vs New Orleans. Abraham only played in 15 snaps last week and was limited in practices this week but his presence will be a huge lift to the home team if he plays well. Not nearly being at full strength will just make things easier for Kaepernick.
We’re going with the 49ers in this one, who came ‘this close’ to winning the NFC Championship game last year, and look forward to a “shoot ’em up” exciting game this Sunday, followed by an appearance in New Orleans in the Super Bowl.