Falcons get some breathing room

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Falcons fans will spend the next 12 minutes slightly less anxious than they would have been.

After watching a 17-point lead quickly evaporate to three, the Falcons drove 80 yards in seven plays in only 90 seconds to push the lead to 24-14 at halftime.

Quarterback Matt Ryan led the home team methodically down the field, completing six of seven passes and capping the drive with a 10-yard touchdown pass to tight end Tony Gonzalez.

For the half, receiver Julio Jones has 135 receiving yards, which puts him only 105 yards short of the single-game postseason receiving yardage record of 240, set by Bills receiver Eric Moulds in 1998.  Matt Ryan has 271 yards passing, which puts him on pace for an all-time postseason record of 542 yards.

The 49ers get the ball to start the half, which means they could cut the lead back down to three.  And, like Arena Football, this one ultimately will be determined by which team can muster a key stop on defense at some point in the final 30 minutes.