49ers' Crabtree ascending among NFL's elite

January, 15, 2013
1/15/13
10:30
AM ET
The Atlanta Falcons' Roddy White is a four-time Pro Bowl choice at wide receiver.

White's teammate, second-year wideout Julio Jones, is headed to the Pro Bowl this season.

Those two give the Falcons arguably the best receiving tandem in the NFL.

The San Francisco 49ers' Michael Crabtree is emerging as one of the most productive receivers in the NFL as well.

Crabtree is one player to watch during the 49ers' matchup with the Falcons in the NFC Championship Game. He's never been to a Pro Bowl, but he is playing at that level. Crabtree had nine catches for 119 yards and two touchdowns against the Green Bay Packers in the NFC divisional playoffs.

The first chart compares the production for Crabtree, Jones and White since Week 13, when Crabtree's production began to spike.

The second chart compares their production for the full 2012 season, counting playoffs.

Crabtree represents a larger piece of a smaller receiving pie. White and Jones are competing for receptions, but the Falcons also throw the ball more frequently.

The Falcons have 699 drop backs in the regular season and playoffs this season. The 49ers have 552 drop backs. Both have played 17 games this season.

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