Here is the opening to my Monday column about the Niners beating the Falcons:

ATLANTA — The 49ers are going to the Super Bowl.

Savor that thought. Not long ago, the 49ers were a joke, a poorly managed outfit that accomplished nothing and had zero standing in the NFL. This went on for years.

On Sunday in the loud Georgia Dome, noise bouncing off the artificial turf and the stands and the steel girders — it was the sound of going insane — the Niners beat the Atlanta Falcons, a good team playing at home. The 49ers took the next step — more like a leap — to a business trip in New Orleans against the Baltimore Ravens, where their ultimate dream just may come true.

What they did against the Falcons, coming from behind to win 28-24, was among the greatest performances by any team I ever covered in any sport at any time.

To read the full column, click here.

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  1. Stan

    He and Singletary sound so much alike,they act alike,they feel alike. But Harbaugh one ups all that by knowing what to do.
    Its going to be hard to second guess what he does. Like with Sabean,how can you?

    January 21st, 2013 10:07 am

  2. Gopal

    Is there a sense that Frank gore is clamoring for the spotlight now, perhaps in a way that he was reluctant to do in the past?

    January 21st, 2013 10:45 am

  3. Joe H.

    Wow! What a game. Outstanding!

    The Falcons were good, very good. But I saw the SF Defense tighten up on the receivers and the front line began to push the Falcon O-Line backwards.

    I saw what happens when only a few milliseconds of pocket protection can make or break a pass completion. When hands and bodies are crashing upon you at train-wreck speeds.

    I saw the Great Frank Gore. I saw him run and run with power and speed and agility. Frank Gore is as good right now as Emmit Smith or Barry Sanders ever were at the height of their careers. Frank Gore is a 5-Star running back.

    The Falcons overplayed Kaepernick’s running ability and the result was a big hole that Frank and LaMichael ran through.

    Congratulations to entire 49er Team. It was nice to see Eddie D. with the trophy.

    And watching Bubba Paris on the Point After after this win was such an enjoyable event. What a great guy.

    Great article LC.

    January 21st, 2013 11:20 am

  4. Stan

    Shouldn’t it have been “49ers going to THE Super Bowl” ?..did I catch ya?

    January 21st, 2013 11:22 am

  5. Dennis

    I think both of these teams, Falcons/49ers, reflect their coaches in how they play. I am glad we have Harbaugh. He is a lot tougher than Mike Smith and that is why the 49ers won.

    January 21st, 2013 11:30 am

  6. lameduck

    Will Brandon Jacobs get a superbowl ring?

    January 21st, 2013 1:25 pm

  7. Dr. Feelgood

    Interesting how Kaepernick has affected perception of the team.
    In the past, falling behind 17-0 was a death sentence. Sunday, watching at home with friends, there was no panic at all. Palpable calm.
    Not quite serenity, but never despair.
    We are believers.

    January 21st, 2013 2:27 pm

  8. Frank in Minnesota

    Wow…I thought the 49ers were toast…but they came back and like Stan says, it’s going to be a little touchy to second guess coach Harbaugh….do wish he woud ge a better attitude but he is no Belicheck, thank goodness….the team is fun to watch!

    January 21st, 2013 2:41 pm

  9. Dr. Feelgood

    Interested in the local reaction to the game, I Googled “Atlanta, GA newspapers”

    This was a suggested result:

    Pretty much say’s it all, no?

    January 21st, 2013 2:43 pm

  10. chris

    wow Lowell you sound like a euphoric 49er fan…..have to assume its more about going to a Super Bowl with yoiur son Grant and both covering the team which is very cool. But one of the greatest performances? I just dont see it……..sure they were down by 17 but it was early and I’ve seen teams score 17 points in 5 minutes. And sure the niners played there usual conservative game which works against good teams but the turning point seemed to be Atlanta’s mistakes more than anything spectacular the Niners did. Ryan dropping the snap while being untouched seem to be the biggest play of the game. And i would call that not the X factor but the Creepy factor…..the niners make teams nervous by their creepy vibe and thus you have a QB dropping a snap and then throwing a pass right to a Niner defender…..after that it was on to the Super Bowl.

    January 21st, 2013 2:49 pm

  11. Loneraider78

    I know you’re just stating your opinion, which is fine, and if that really was one of the greatest performances you’ve ever covered then great.

    I think it was a solid performance, but not a timeless classic. It wouldn’t have even materialized had Matt Ryan not thrown one of the poorest INTs I’ve ever seen, and then been able to handle that snap–which was a perfectly normal snap, not to the side or over his head.

    Let’s be real–they caught some big breaks. ATL had them by the throat, and they got sloppy and lost it.

    Matt Ryan went Peyton Manning.

    It’s amazing to me how good those guys are, and yet they find a way to shoot themselves in the foot in the playoffs every time.

    January 21st, 2013 5:26 pm

  12. mbabco

    I wish I could post a picture on this site. There’s a picture a short ways down on Grantland showing Kaepernick and Smith together: I’m struck at how huge Kaepernick’s arms are and the difference in demeanor between the two men. It brought to mind Lowell’s comment about Kaepernick being an athlete. Sure looks it here. Here’s the link.


    January 21st, 2013 5:26 pm

  13. RC

    Mbabco, I checked that photo out, so true.

    Chris, you missed so much, study a bit more and bring a better argument .
    Gopal- you can’t give Frank enough credit.

    For those who think coming back from 17-0 deficit away, with A QB as good as Ryan was throwing, you obviously failed to see the big picture or just don’t get it.

    January 21st, 2013 9:28 pm

  14. dharte

    Kaepernick was lost throughout the 1st quarter, he looked overmatched by the size of the game, and then he came back and the kid was just remarkable. What he did yesterday needs to be put in context: Steve Young never won a playoff game on the road, and Joe Montana only did it once, against the Bears at the peak of his career. For a “rookie” with eight starts under his belt to play that well after being down 17? I’ve never seen anything like it.

    So Harbaugh was right. The Genius 2.0…at least if he can beat his big brother.

    January 21st, 2013 9:34 pm

  15. Streetglide

    Colin never looked lost. The whole Niner team had to adjust to the noise and surroundings. once they did, the Falcons were toast…

    January 22nd, 2013 4:39 am

  16. Stan

    Harbaugh on family questions: “I would rather taker a pass on that”. WHAT??..He’s that blind? Jim has come up in the cold,cold, world by hardscrabble survival I guess. As the Joker said “What fails to kill you only makes you stranger”.

    January 22nd, 2013 8:24 am

  17. Bray

    That is a interesting take that I’ve never heard before Chris. Creepy? How do you figure?
    The 2 turnovers by the Falcons generated ZERO points for the Niners. ATL scored ZERO points after halftime, can’t do that in a Championship game. The Niners also ‘gave away’ 10 points in the 2nd half.

    Ryan played out of his head in the first half, absolutely amazing throws with great coverage. Niners rushed him a little in the second half and the explosive plays stopped, no more blown coverages helped too. Both teams left plays on the field, but a trained unbiased eye will tell you the Niners were obviously the better team on the field.

    January 22nd, 2013 9:33 am

  18. dharte


    Please. They were down 17-0 on the road with six minutes gone in the second quarter. Rare that a team comes back in that sort of hole it a title game, remarkable that a rookie could pull it off.

    Watch his passing in the first quarter if you have the game recorded. Did you really think before he started that drive with 8:50 left in the first half that he was going to be up to the task? And did you think the Falcons could be shut out in the 2nd half?

    If so, you should consider moving to Vegas full time. Julio Jones owned Culliver and Brown until halftime.

    An amazing performance, all around. Only Montana can match it in this organization over the last fifty years.

    January 22nd, 2013 1:17 pm

  19. Nancy R

    “Gore gored them.” “Bird stew.” Delicious. I’m hungry. The Ravens, (tweet tweet, or caw caw), are the other team in the NFL with great spirit, determination and sheer willpower. We have a great Super Bowl ahead of us.

    January 23rd, 2013 6:08 am

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