NFL Atlanta FalconsSan Francisco 49ers

San Francisco 49ers Make the Plays to Vault Them to Super Bowl

Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports

The momentum swing at the end of the first half in favor of the Atlanta Falcons seemingly meant nothing to the San Francisco 49ers. The 49ers started the second half just as hot as the Falcons started the game.

The 49ers got the ball to begin the half and put together an 80-yard drive to score a touchdown and cut the Falcons lead to three less than five minutes into the third quarter.

The Falcons kept the 49ers in check as David Akers missed the field goal that would have tied the game at 24 in the third quarter. They got the ball back and drove down the field, looking like a team poised to take a commanding 10-point lead, until Matt Ryan fumbled a shotgun snap at the 49ers 37-yard line.

One of the biggest plays of the second half came in the fourth quarter right after the Ryan fumble when Colin Kaepernick had the 49ers in the red zone and passed the ball to Michael Crabtree. It looked as if Crabtree would easily score and give the 49ers their first lead of the game, but was hit hard and fumbled the ball inside the one-yard line.

Another huge play came late in the fourth quarter when Harry Douglas caught a long pass on a crucial third down that looked to have hit the ground. San Francisco challenged the call, but it was upheld and the Falcons continued their drive in 49er territory down 28-24.

Ryan took the offense inside the 20-yard line before failing on a fourth-and-four, turning the ball over with just over a minute left in the game, giving the 49ers the ball back at their own 10-yard line.

They went three-and-out and punted the ball away with just over 10 seconds left.

The game came down to a last-second heave that resulted in a 30-yard completion that ended the game, preventing the Falcons from a chance to play for their first ever Super Bowl title.