ATLANTA — This is the live blog for the first quarter of the NFC Championship game between the 49ers and the Falcons. I’ll update this frequently with information and analysis from the Georgia Dome press box.
12:03 The 49ers call heads. It is heads. They defer possession to the second half. The Falcons will receive the ball first. The 49ers won the toss last week and chose to receive. Clearly the 49ers think they can dominate this game on defense.
12:06 Touchback David Akers.
12:06 The Falcons come out with three receivers. Matt Ryan hands off to Michael Turner, who runs right at Justin Smith. Gain of three.
12:07 Next play, Ryan hits Julio Jones on a quick slant for a 13-yard gain. First and 10 at the ATL 36.
12:08 Turner runs a draw and gains one yard.
12:08 Ryan throws a quick slant to Roddy White and Tarell Brown knocks the pass away. The crows wanted pass interference. Third and nine.
12:09 Ryan drops back, has time and hits White over the middle for 16 yards. First and 10 from the SF 47.
12:10 Rodgers runs up the middle and Justin Smith tackles him after a gain of one.
12:11 Ryan play fakes and stands tall in the pocket. There is no pass rush. Ryan throws deep for Jones, who is wide open, past the 49ers’ safeties. He makes the catch. Touchdown Falcons. 7-0 with 11:24 left in the first quarter.
12:12 The decision to defer possession looks bad right now.
12:13 The Falcons came out running, as they should have, but it didn’t work. Still, Ryan had his way with the 49ers’ defense.
12:14 LaMichael James takes a knee in the end zone. The 49ers will start their first drive from their 20 yard line.
12:15 Just like last week, Kaepernick throws to Crabtree on the first play of the game. But this time, he gains just one yard.
12:15 Kaepernick hands off to Gore on the read option. Gore goes nowhere. Third and nine.
12:16 Kaepernick throws to Vernon Davis over the middle and Thomas DeCoud knocks the pass away. The 49ers go three-and-out. Trent Baalke is sitting behind me and he has a stern look on his face.
12:17 Andy Lee punts it 62 yards. The Falcons start at their 18 yard line. Great punt and great coverage.
12:19 From the shotgun, Ryan hits Julio Jones on a slant for eight yards. Second and two.
12:20 Ryan hands off to Turner, who runs off right tackle for three yards and a first down.
12:21 Ryan hits Jones underneath again, this time for a six-yard gain.
12:21 Ryan completes a quick pass to Tony Gonzalez for five yards and another first down.
12:22 Ryan hits White for a gain of 10. First and 10 at midfield.
12:23 Bowman hits Turner at the line of scrimmage. No gain. Second and 10.
12:23 Ryan throws deep down the left sideline for Jones, but he can only keep one foot in bounds. The Falcons are going after Tarell Brown. Third and 1o.
12:26 The 49ers defense has gotten zero pressure on Ryan so far in this game.
12:27 Ryan completes a pass over the middle to Julio Jones. Goldson almost knocked it away but didn’t. Gain of 27.
12:28 First and 10 from the 23, Rodgers loses two yards. Second and 12.
12:29 Ryan completes a short pass to Gonzalez. Gain of eight. Third and four. Still no pass rush.
12:30 Ryan throws to Rodgers on a wheel route and Bowman makes a diving pass break up. If he’d missed, that would have been a touchdown. Bryant will attempt a 35-yard field goal.
12:30 Bryant makes it. 10-0 Falcons with 3:20 left in the first quarter.
12:33 James runs the ball out of the end zone and fumbles at the 20 yard line. The 49ers recover.
12:35 Kaepernick throws a pass to a Falcons’ defensive lineman and he almost picks it off. Second and 10.
12:36 From the Diamond formation, Gore runs up the middle for six yards. Third and four.
12:37 The Falcons sack Kaepernick. Peters blows by Iupati and hits Kaepernick immediately. Another three-and-out. Lee will punt. Kaepernick has not completed a pass.
12:38 Bad punt, just 46 yards. The Falcons start at their 43.
12:40 Turner runs up the middle for four yards.
12:41 Turner runs up the middle again, this time for 10 yards. First and 10 from the SF 43.
12:41 Ryan play fakes and hits Roddy White on a skinny post for 23 yards. Culliver got beat. First and 10 at the SF 20, and that’s the end of the first quarter.