When the San Francisco 49ers square off against the Atlanta Falcons in the NFC Championship Game, old NFC West rivals will be dueling once again.
Given how much the Bay Area dominated that division prior to 2002, Atlanta has to fight against history, as well. Fortunately for the Dirty Birds, an extensive amount of success has been underway since Matt Ryan got under center in the NFC South.
Getting the Falcons to the second Super Bowl in franchise history is simply the next step.
At the same time, however, San Francisco's future looks bright with Colin Kaepernick. And the 49ers aren't a cakewalk opponent by any means.
Expecting a close matchup, the following seven keys will determine 2012-13's NFC title victor.