As the media waited to hear from coach Mike Smith after Atlanta’s victory against Seattle this past Sunday, a television played in the news conference room next to the Falcons’ locker room in the Georgia Dome.
Falcons owner Arthur Blank was waiting with the media. He didn’t seem to react when one television announcer went ahead and declared the San Francisco 49ers a prohibitive favorite over the Falcons in the NFC Championship Game and another broadcaster instantly agreed. Maybe that’s because Blank, like so many Atlanta fans, is used to his team getting sold short.
But let’s interrupt all the talk about how wonderful the 49ers are with this PSA (Positive Stat Atlanta): It’s been more than a little while since the 49ers have won a playoff game on the road.
We’re not counting Super Bowls in neutral stadiums. To find the last time the 49ers won a playoff game on the road, you have to go back to the 1988 season.
On Jan. 8, 1989, the 49ers defeated the Chicago Bears, 28-3, at Soldier Field. Bill Walsh was coaching the 49ers at that time.
Oh, one more PSA: The last time the 49ers played a postseason game in the Georgia Dome was at the end of the 1998 season. The Falcons won that game, 20-18, and eventually went on to the Super Bowl.