By Daisy Barringer

Note: I have knocked on wood for every single positive thing stated in this article. This, despite the fact that I learned this morning the reason we knock on wood is because if we don’t, little mischievous gremlins will come out of the wood to ensure that the opposite of whatever we say comes true. Which is, like, the dumbest thing EVER. Nonetheless… Knocking. A lot.

So this is it. One more game until the Super Bowl. One win away from a shot at it all. As of noon on Sunday, it will only be sixty minutes of play (three hours) until we’ll know if the 49ers are going to New Orleans or going home to lock themselves in their crying closets, a place I just invented, but that should totally exist because, ugh, watching people cry is the grossest. (Note: I will absolutely be crying on Sunday. Win/Loss/Whatever. There will be tears and there will probably be a lot of them.)

Seriously people? I AM FREAKING THE [F-WORD HERE] OUT. And I know I owe you some sort of intelligent article about how we’re going to do this, but I’m too nervous to even think straight. WE ARE IN THE NFC CHAMPIONSHIP GAME. And even better? WE CAN WIN THIS. Sorry for the all caps, but I'm overstimulated

Speaking of, there’s a hot guy delivering firewood to my cabin right now. It’s a little distracting.

OK. NINERS. FALCONS. How’s this gonna go down? Let’s discuss.

The Good

  • Um, did you SEE Colin Kaepernick last week? Yeah. That’s not just good, it’s stupendous. He can pass. He can run. And he cannot be stopped. Even better, the Falcons have struggled against mobile QBs all year. So, I expect to watch them suck it.
  • The running game. Frank Gore, LaMichael James, and, oh right: Kaepernick. Atlanta will have to shut it down to have a shot and I just don’t see that happening.
  • Atlanta, however, is not going to be able to run the ball on us, which means that their hopes are all on QB Matt Ryan’s shoulders. Guess who loves to throw interceptions in playoff games? Matt Ryan. If he throws two picks, it’s game over. If Atlanta wants a shot at this, Matt Ryan is going to have to be mistake free. He can’t give our defense a chance to put our offense back on the field.
  • Our defense. Just, you know, in general. They always say that defense wins games, but the amazing thing about our defense now is that we ALSO have an offense. It’s not solely up to them to win this thing. But I know they’ll come out fast and furious and thank god Justin Smith is back. His presence on the field truly makes such a difference.
  • Crabtree, Moss, Vernon Davis (if Kap can get him the ball) and the rest of our tight ends and receivers. Kap can float the ball or he can jam it up the middle hard. Which sounds sexual, but isn’t.
  • Atlanta’s running back: Michael Turner. Sure the dude had a good game last week, but he played crappy all season and I don’t expect him to do much, if anything, against our D. If Atlanta can’t establish a run, they’re going to have a hard time winning.
  • David Akers. Hahahaha. Kidding! Just making sure you’re paying attention.

The Bad

  • The Falcons have home-field advantage and they play in a dome, which can obviously get loud. Luckily, their fans aren’t the best. I think it’ll get loud, but not like Seattle loud.
  • The Falcons are good. Obviously. They finished 13-3 this season. Everyone kept saying they were over-rated, but they managed to get to this point, so they were clearly doing something right. The Niners just need to keep that in mind and play hard though and we’ll be fine.
  • Roddy White, Julio Jones, and Tony Gonzalez. First of all, why is Julio the most fun name in all of the land to say? But besides that, when Matt Ryan finds these guys down the field, they’re explosive. Fact.
  • Vernon Davis just hasn’t been getting the ball lately. He and Kap don’t have “chemistry” yet, but we don’t really have time for them to find that chemistry. I mean, I don’t know if they’re waiting for a romantic candlelit dinner, but it’s not gonna happen. They just need to do it and get it over with and get the ball in VD’s hands.
  • Atlanta’s defense. I haven’t had a chance to watch many Falcons games this year, so I’m curious to see how they perform. Word on the street is they’re good. I guess we’ll just have to see how good.

The Rest of It

Obviously this game is huge. There’s no other way to say it. I’m already debating if I’ll go to New Orleans or not. That’s how much faith I have that the Niners can beat this Atlanta Falcons team. But, on any given Sunday...

The Niners will need to come out and play the way we know they can. They can’t make mistakes. Special teams needs to be spot-on. Kaepernick needs to be smart and, if he makes a mistake, recover in the same way he did after his INT in the Green Bay game. And our defense needs to play the way they always do and force Atlanta to turn the ball over. If we can do that, we’ve got this. I really think we’ve got this.

Oh, and in case you were wondering, I finally got up enough nerve to flirt with the firewood guy and then my friend’s dog took a huge shit in front of him, effectively ruining my game. No guy wants to sit around and chat with a girl who’s picking up poop. Fact.

But who has time for sex when the Niners have this huge game in two days? (I do, world. I do.)

Watch San Francisco at Atlanta on Sunday at 12 p.m. PT on FOX.