49ers beat Falcons 34-24 to clinch playoff berth

Published on NewsOK Modified: December 23, 2013 at 11:50 pm •  Published: December 23, 2013
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"Best birthday present I've ever gotten, second only to being born," quipped Harbaugh on his 50th birthday. "That was awesome."

Boldin had a 10-yard touchdown catch that tied it at 10 with 12:03 left in the third, and Kaepernick ran for a score early in the fourth.

This rematch of the NFC championship game featuring teams headed in opposite directions was another thriller. The 49ers won 28-24 last January in Atlanta to return to the Super Bowl for the first time in 18 years.

Boldin caught six passes for 72 yards and went over 1,000 yards receiving for the sixth time in his career and first since 2009.

With the future of the 49ers on display, there were plenty of glimpses to the past — and five Super Bowl titles.

"There's a lot of history in this stadium," Bowman said. "For this to be the last game, we cannot leave it with an L. So I'm glad we got the W."

Joe Montana's winning touchdown pass to Dwight Clark — dubbed "The Catch" — was celebrated at halftime as the No. 1 moment during a top-10 countdown during each home game this year. The special spot in the right corner of the north end zone was marked with a gold dot. That victory in the NFC championship game after the 1981 season sent San Francisco to its first Super Bowl title.

The 49ers are set to move into $1.2 billion Levi's Stadium at team headquarters in Santa Clara while Candlestick waits out its implosion day.

White had 12 catches for 141 yards and retiring Falcons tight end Gonzalez eight for 63 yards in his final game back in the Bay Area, where he starred collegiately at California. Ryan wound up 37 for 48 for 348 yards but his late mistakes were costly as has been the case in a 1-7 road showing.

Hall of Famers Steve Young and Jerry Rice played catch on the field before the game, and two baseball greats with their own Hall of Fame distinction — Willie Mays and Willie McCovey — were on hand and waved to cheering fans.

San Francisco's 31 second-half points were its most since scoring 35 against Atlanta on Sept. 15, 1985, according to STATs.

NOTES: Atlanta's 24 losses at Candlestick are the most of any 49ers opponent. ... The Falcons lost defensive tackle Corey Peters in the second quarter to an Achilles injury. Atlanta RB Jacquizz Rodgers sustained a concussion. ... 49ers TE Vernon Davis didn't have a reception for the first time all season.

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AP NFL website: www.pro32.ap.org



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