49ers 'plow ahead' toward Super Bowl goal
SANTA CLARA, Calif. — Running back Frank Gore arrived for work Monday ready to push through another tough week of game preparation and do everything he can to keep his team playing right into February.
The San Francisco 49ers are one win from the place they've planned to be all along: the Super Bowl.
“Mainly, we're going to plow ahead,” coach Jim Harbaugh said Monday. “We're going to continue our work ethic and humility.”
The NFC West champion and No. 2-seeded Niners (12-4-1) will hit the road Friday for Atlanta to face the top-seeded Falcons (14-3) in the NFC title game Sunday.
Any topics that strayed from the job at hand, Harbaugh wanted no part of such chatter — whether talk of his big brother John's Baltimore Ravens' success or former 49ers coach and current Falcons defensive coordinator, Mike Nolan.
The Niners have been to New Orleans once already in November and won in the Superdome, and they're eager to schedule another trip to the Big Easy for the biggest game yet Feb. 3.
“We all know it's hard to get back to this point, but we did it,” Gore said. “We also know how that feeling was when we didn't get the job done last year. We'll try our best to not get that feeling again.”
This group has been working for the opportunity to reach another championship Sunday since the moment San Francisco's season ended last January with a mistake-filled 20-17 overtime loss to the eventual Super Bowl champion New York Giants.
Now, it's strong-armed, playmaking Colin Kaepernick under center with a chance to send his team to the franchise's first Super Bowl since the 1994 season.
Kaepernick dazzled for the sellout home crowd at Candlestick Park in a record-setting playoff debut as San Francisco eliminated the Green Bay Packers with a 45-31 victory Saturday night.
The tattooed, second-year pro rushed for a quarterback playoff record 181 yards with a pair of touchdowns — one a 56-yarder — and threw two TD passes to Michael Crabtree.
Kaepernick, whose celebratory flexing of the biceps has become a Twitter sensation, was unfazed after an early pick six that put Green Bay ahead four plays into the game.
“The one thing, I've said this from day one about Colin, since he started playing, he's always been confident,” center Jonathan Goodwin said. “When you see a guy that's playing quarterback in this league that young and he's that confident, hats off to him.”
If the 49ers can win in yet another hostile road environment this weekend, they will keep alive the chance of a Harbowl — San Francisco coach Jim Harbaugh against his brother, whose Ravens stunned the top-seeded Broncos at Denver and will play at New England for a Super Bowl berth.
“Haaa, haaa! Once again, huh?” Gore said with a grin when the possibility was mentioned.
Not that anyone in the family — or on the 49ers, for that matter — is thinking too far ahead.
“Proud of them both and excited for them,” father Jack Harbaugh said Monday. “Understand how hard they've worked and the preparation that's gone into it.”
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- NFL notebook: Jamaal Charles injures ankle vs. Broncos
- Vikings fans voice views on Peterson
- From Rice to Peterson, NFL endures trying week
- Peterson released on $15K bond
- NFL notebook: Players approve HGH testing for 2014
- Cardinals’ Fitzgerald feels best days aren’t behind him
- NFL notebook: Bailey, Sam among cuts
- Report shows 3 in 10 ex-NFL players will suffer cognitive damage
- Vikings RB Peterson indicted in child injury case, deactivated for Sunday’s game
- Rams DE Quinn signs 6-year, $66.575 million extension