Falcons defense has been suspect all year and the 49ers have an excellent defense. Late in games defense is the difference. Same reason the Ravens are still playing instead of the Broncos.
As Panther fans this should be of deep concern to us given the state of our secondary. Plenty of time to right the ship though.
Fwiw, I thought their defense played fairly well. If you consider the offense had a turnover, and Atlanta held them to a missed fg attempt, then the offense had a second consecutive turnover, and the atlanta defense forced a turnover at the 1. Then their offense couldn't get a single first down and atlanta's d finally gave up a td on a short field. On three consecutive series, turnover, turnover, 3 and out, and SF only scored once.
Truth is that the oline and Matt Ryan played terrible in the second half. That fumble when he simply didn't catch the snap was a killer. Matt Ryan might be on the road to becoming the next Tony Romo.