SANTA CLARA -- While the Atlanta Falcons' pulled out Sunday's win and advanced to face the 49ers for the NFC Championship, 49ers linebacker Patrick Willis watched the dramatic ending with Baltimore Ravens' Ray Lewis through their phones' FaceTime application.

"I was on my way home, he FaceTimed me and we watching the end and how crazy it was," Willis said on 95.7 The Game.

If the 49ers and Baltimore Ravens win their respective conference finals Sunday, Willis and Lewis will be able to see each other in person in New Orleans at Super Bowl XLVII. They'll be the guys wearing No. 52.

On Sunday, Willis' 49ers will visit the Falcons for the NFC title, and Lewis' Baltimore Ravens will play at the New England Patriots later Sunday for the AFC crown.

To get there, Willis figures to play a key role in slowing the Falcons' offense, specifically as it pertains to defending tight end Tony Gonzalez.

"I know him personally and have all the respect in the world for him," Willis said of Gonzalez, a Cal product. "I've been a big fan of what he's done.

"But this Sunday, it's man-on-man, me and him. With all due respect, I've got to shut him out. I've got to.

"He's a great football player but it's time to compete. When the game's over, we'll shake hands and hopefully we'll be going on to the main event."

Gonzalez had six receptions for 51 yards and a touchdown in the Falcons' 30-28 win Sunday over the Seahawks. His 1,242 career receptions are second-most in NFL history behind Jerry Rice's 1,549.


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Gonzalez hasn't found the end zone in two meetings against Willis, totaling six catches for 55 yards in a 2009 game and seven receptions for 41 yards in a 2010 meeting. Overall, Gonzalez has one touchdown in six career games against the 49ers, and his average of 9.04 yards per catch against them is his second-lowest against any team.

For more on the 49ers, see Cam Inman's Hot Read blog at blogs.mercurynews.com/49ers. Follow him on Twitter at twitter.com/CamInman.