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Golden Nuggets: Jim Harbaugh Says Goodbye to 49 and Candlestick the 49er Way

Tuesday, December 24, 2013 edition of the Golden Nuggets, a daily compilation of 49ers links from around the web.

Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

Jim Harbaugh spent his last days at age 49 preparing for the Candlestick finale, and the results did not disappoint. You may have been expecting a ho-hum blowout, but Candlestick Park preferred to go out in it's own way: with another memorable and spectacular finish. Harbaugh said it himself that this was "the best birthday present" he's ever gotten "second only to being born".

I personally thought that this type of game would bode better for the Niners as a team. Blowout wins look nice on the stat sheet and on highlight reels, but they have a way of over-inflating a team's confidence level which is dangerous come playoff time. You want to go in confident, but not at the expense of underestimating opponents. That's why #1 seeds faltering in the post-season is a fairly common occurrence, especially when they clinch early and their last few games are meaningless.

It was clear from the opening kickoff that Atlanta was treating this as their "playoff game" and that atmosphere continued from start to finish. Because it had playoff intensity, it forced the 49ers to kick in that extra gear when it mattered. San Francisco totally dominated the second half, outscoring Atlanta 31-14. This comes as a great tune-up for the post-season and I have no doubts that the last game against Arizona will have the same intensity. Winning these types of games is exactly the momentum that the 49ers need to make a deep run to the Championship.

So I'm sure deep in his heart, Coach Harbaugh is thanking Atlanta, thanking Candlestick Park for giving him and his team exactly what they need going forward. And before I get to the links, I'd like to tell everyone to enjoy this Christmas eve and may you and your families have a blessed holiday season. Go Niners!

Harbaugh: 'One of the Greatest Plays I've Seen' (49ers)

49ers vs Falcons Postgame

49ers Top Falcons, Seal Playoff Spot in 'Stick Finale (49ers)

49ers close out Candlestick Park in style, punch ticket to playoffs (SI)

Bowman pick-6 clinches final game at Candlestick Park, playoff berth (BASG)

49ers-Falcons: What we learned (Yahoo)

San Francisco 49ers send Candlestick Park out in style, clinch playoff berth with win (Yahoo)

Rapid Reaction: San Francisco 49ers (ESPN)

Keys to victory: 49ers 34, Falcons 24 (ESPN)

Instant Replay: 49ers survive, punch playoff ticket in 'Stick finale (Maiocco)

Niners Say Goodbye to the Stick with a Victory (NBC)

Niners win playoff spot with some Candlestick magic (NFL)

Candlestick closer an instant classic (SFGate)

5 things to know after 49ers beat Falcons 34-24 (Yahoo)

And just to see what it's like for the other team... | Falcons wage major battle before falling 34-24 to 49ers (AJC)

Player Spotlights

49ers' Brock does more than 'make a play' (Inman)

Bowman makes late add to Candlestick lore (ESPN)

Every GIF you need to see from NaVorro Bowman's pick-6 to close out The Stick (BASG)

Donte Whitner levels Steven Jackson, gets flagged 15 yards (GIF) (BASG)

Notes: Whitner receives another questionable flag; Tukuafu plays big role (Branch)

49ers notes: Crabtree revs up in third quarter; Tukuafu fills in at fullback (Barrows)

Kaepernick transcript: ‘We had to finish what we started' (Inman)

Dose: Rowdy Roddy (Yahoo)

Candlestick's Curtain Call

Former 49ers and fans relive the memories in Candlestick finale (SJMN)

Candlestick: Where anything could happen and often did (CSN)

Final reflections on the final magical night at Candlestick Park (Lynch)