Flashback one year ago. The 49ers start the season with a series of unknowns and possibilities:
…A lockout preseason.
…Harbaugh is the 49ers new Head Coach.
…Alex Smith remains the starting QB.
A seemingly implausible season ensues…
…A 13-3 regular season record.
…A divisional playoff win over the record breaking Saints offense.
The 49ers are the surprise of the NFL.
We know the rest. The 49ers suffer a heartbreaking overtime defeat to the NY Giants in the NFC Championship game.
Flash forward to the 2012 season. Ripe with motivation and expectation, the 49ers battle week after week to fulfill their goal to returning to the NFC Championship, and win a Super Bowl. But the season is not without its fair share of controversy and roadblocks…
…Kaepernick replaces Smith mid season.
…injuries plague the team, the 49ers loss Kyle Williams, Kendall Hunter and Mario Manningham in a matter of weeks.
…the NFC West is emerging as one of the most competitive divisions, as evidenced by the 49ers late season loss to the Rams, and the emergence of Russell Wilson led division rival Seattle Seahawks. In fact, the 49ers fought late in December to secure their #2 playoff position.
The 49ers displayed championship character, and overcame each obstacle. And in January, they are once again one win away from a trip to the Super Bowl. They meet the NFC best Atlanta Falcons on January 20th.
The energy in the dome is tangible. The noise is deafening, and the moment is now. Atlanta delivers a crushing 1st Quarter performance, scoring 17 unanswered points. Against seemingly insurmountable odds, the 49ers deliver a thrilling come from behind 28-24 victory on the road. Key defensive stops, timely turnovers, and thrilling offense play contributed to the win.
The collages capture these contributions: