ATLANTA – Make way Joe Montana and Steve Young. Colin Kaepernick is leading a brash new group of 49ers to the Super Bowl.
Frank Gore scored a pair of second-half touchdowns and San Francisco, after falling behind 17-0 by the first play of the second quarter, pulled off a record rally for a 28-24 victory over the Atlanta Falcons in the NFC championship game Sunday.
Helped by the defense in the final minutes, Kaepernick didn't put up the same dazzling numbers he did in the divisional playoff against Green Bay. But he was solid enough to justify coach Jim Harbaugh's decision to bench Alex Smith and go with the youngster.
San Francisco (13-4-1) moves on to face either New England or Baltimore at New Orleans in two weeks. The 49ers will be trying to join Pittsburgh as the only franchises with six Super Bowl titles.
"This is what we play for. We play for this moment," 49ers tight end Vernon Davis said. "We put in all the hard work and get the opportunity to play on the big stage. So, it's not about me. It's all about the team."