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23 July 2024

NFL: Ravens to face 49ers in Super Bowl final

LaMichael James of the San Francisco 49ers reacts after their defence stops the Atlanta Falcons in the fourth quarter in the NFC Championship game at the Georgia Dome on January 20, 2013 in Atlanta, Georgia. (GETTY)


Joe Flacco threw three touchdown passes in the second half Sunday as the Baltimore Ravens rallied to beat New England 28-13 Sunday to reach the second Super Bowl in club history.

Flacco carved up the New England defence as the Ravens avenged a loss to the Patriots in last year's American Football Conference championship game in Foxboro.

The Ravens advanced to their first National Football League championship contest since the 2000 season and will face San Francisco, who also won on the road Sunday, beating the top seeded Atlanta Falcons 28-24 in another come-from-behind thriller in the National Conference title game.

"Last year we came up a bit short but the guys came out in the second half today and made plays," Flacco said. "We needed to put pressure on them like that and it worked pretty well."

The win means Ravens veteran Ray Lewis will cap his career with a Super Bowl appearance. And two brothers will coach against each other in Super Bowl 47.

John Harbaugh's Ravens will square off against his younger brother Jim's San Francisco team on February 3 in New Orleans.

"It will be a great football game," Ravens coach John Harbaugh said. "Two great teams squaring off, I can't wait."

Frank Gore had a pair of touchdown runs in the second half as the San Francisco 49ers stormed back from a 17-point deficit to beat the Atlanta Falcons 28-24 and earn a trip to the Super Bowl.

The 49ers advanced to the National Football League championship game for the first time since the 1994 season.

San Francisco, who lost to the Super Bowl champion New York Giants in the National Football Conference (NFC) title game last year, will be playing in their sixth Super Bowl in franchise history.

The 49ers are a perfect 5-0 in the championship game and will be trying to join Pittsburgh as the only clubs with a half dozen Super Bowl triumphs.

The top-seeded Falcons were hosting their first NFC championship game but they couldn't get the job done against dynamic quarterback Colin Kaepernick and the 49ers.

San Francisco trailed 17-0 midway through the second quarter before charging from behind in the second half as their offence came to life.

Gore romped nine yards for a touchdown to put San Francisco ahead 28-24 with 8:23 left. After that it was up to the defence to do their part.

Atlanta's Harry Douglas made an acrobatic 22-yard catch to put the ball on San Francisco's 28.

The Falcons' advanced the ball to the 10-yard line, setting the stage for the contest to be decided on two plays.

On third-and-four, Ahmad Brooks broke up quarterback Matt Ryan's pass and NaVorro Bowman got the ball back for the 49ers after knocking down Ryan's toss to Roddy White on the fourth down.

"That was a great finish for our defence," San Francisco coach Jim Harbaugh said. "It put an exclamation point on the game."

San Francisco ran down the clock with their next possession before Atlanta got the ball back on their own 41 yard line with six seconds to play. Julio Jones caught a 24-yard pass on the final play of the game.

"We moved the ball effectively the entire day," Ryan said. "We had two chances where we were in positive territory and didn't walk away with points.

"When you do that against a very good football team you're not going to win."

It marked the 49ers' first playoff road win in 24 years and just the third in club history. Their last post-season road win came in 1989 against the Chicago Bears.