SANTA CLARA, Calif. -- Running back Frank Gore arrived for work Monday ready to push through another tough week 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. The NFC West champion and No. 2-seeded Niners (12-4-1) hit the road for Atlanta to face the top-seeded Falcons (14-3) in the NFC title game Sunday.
This group has been planning for the opportunity since the moment San Francisco's season ended last January with a 20-17 overtime loss to the eventual Super Bowl champion New York Giants.
Now, it's strong-armed, playmaking Colin Kaepernick under centre with a chance to send his team to the franchise's first Super Bowl since after the 1994 season.