SANTA CLARA — Tight end Vernon Davis caught five passes for 106 yards and one touchdown in helping the 49ers beat the Falcons and advance to the Super Bowl. The breakout performance validated something he learned over the course of the regular season.

"It tested my patience," Davis said of catching only five passes in the five games before the Falcons game Sunday. "I was patient and just waited for my opportunities."

It's a sign of just how far Davis has come, he said, that he never voiced concerns over his lack of catches the latter half of the season, when he caught seven passes in the seven games before the Falcons game.

It's all part of the maturation process that started when former coach Mike Singletary arrived, Davis said.

"When I first came in, this game, it was all about me," Davis said. "I'm not going to lie. It was all about what I wanted. I didn't look at if from a team standpoint. I grew. Coach Singletary was here, and he helped me make that transition from a boy to a young man. I'm very thankful for that. I thank God for that.

"Now, it's all about the team. I get happy just to see other guys succeed, Delanie (Walker), (Michael) Crabtree, Frank (Gore). I had a chance, an opportunity, to sit back and watch these guys make plays."

Against the Falcons, it was Davis' turn. He finished with almost double the yards receiving of any other 49er on Sunday.

Now it's on to the Super Bowl against the Baltimore Ravens. Davis said he is reveling in the opportunity to realize a childhood dream.


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"This is what we play for," Davis said. "We wait. We spend all our lives; as a kid, then we grow up, go to high school and then college, and we play for this moment."

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