Vernon Davis: 49ers Tight End Breaks Out of Slump at Perfect Time

Austin GreenCorrespondent IJanuary 20, 2013

ATLANTA, GA - JANUARY 20:  Tight end Vernon Davis #85 of the San Francisco 49ers catches a four-yard touchdown in the second quarter against the Atlanta Falcons in the NFC Championship game at the Georgia Dome on January 20, 2013 in Atlanta, Georgia.  (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)
Streeter Lecka/Getty Images

After weeks of struggling to stay involved in the offense, San Francisco 49ers tight end Vernon Davis exploded in the NFC Championship Game.

As the Niners offense sputtered, Davis stepped up at the perfect time. He was a catalyst of San Fran's 28-24 victory over the Atlanta Falcons, using his size, speed and hands to propel the 49ers into the Super Bowl.

With San Francisco trailing Atlanta 17-0 in the second quarter, Davis took over. He punished the Falcons for playing off of him, repeatedly finding gaps in Atlanta's defense. His four-yard touchdown reception brought the Niners to within three points, and he added a big 31-yard catch to set up another score.

For the game, Davis finished with five catches for 106 yards and that crucial touchdown. He proved that he is still one of the most dangerous tight ends in the game, as he rescued a 49ers offense that couldn't muster a first down in the opening quarter.

Davis was phenomenal on Sunday, and he couldn't have picked a better time to break out of his recent funk.

Despite his incredible skills, Davis had struggled leading up to the NFC Championship Game. ESPN Stats & Info highlighted how his huge performance contrasts his last five games:

Vernon Davis: 5 Receptions, 106 Yds, TD in NFC Championship (5 Receptions, 90 Yds, 0 TD combined in previous 5 games)

— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) January 20, 2013

Luckily for San Francisco, Davis brought his A-game on Sunday. He bailed out the 49ers on several occasions, and he made the Falcons looks stupid for not challenging him at the line of scrimmage.

Now, Davis will look to replicate his performance in his first career Super Bowl. If he plays as well as he did against Atlanta, the big tight end will likely lead San Francisco to its first championship since 1995.