SAN FRANCISCO (KCBS) – John Madden thinks the 49ers will win Sunday’s NFC Championship game against the Falcons in Atlanta, but doesn’t expect a cake walk.

“You’re taking how they played last week and exploded and you’re carrying it over to this week, (but) it’s going to be tougher for them,” Madden told the KCBS morning crew. “Last week they were at home, and you can do a lot of things offensively at home that you can’t do on the road. A lot of that is audibles, cadence, communication at the line of scrimmage. So being on the road in a dome is going to be a new hurdle they have to get over.”

Can the 49ers stop Atlanta’s strong passing game?

“The thing that I’ve always found that really helps those situations in stopping those great outside receivers and a great tight end is a big pass rush,” Madden said. “There’s no quarterback in the world that likes to get knocked down, and there’s no quarterback in the world that’s ever played that can throw the ball from that position… That’s going to be the key.”

John said the quarterback gets most of the attention, but the 49ers excel in other areas.

“They’re the best tackling defense in the NFL,” Madden said. “Their offensive line, I think, is the best offensive line in football, and (running back) Frank Gore is a workhorse. There are a lot of pretty good parts there before you even get to the quarterback.” (7:55).

(Listen to the John Madden segment live weekday mornings at 8:15 on KCBS All News 740 AM/106.9 FM. And catch John’s extra report at 9:15 a.m. Mondays and Fridays through the NFL playoffs and Super Bowl.)

(Copyright 2013 by CBS San Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)


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