The Atlanta Falcons were on top of the NFC South with a huge lead earlier in the season. However, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers have won five in a row and have moved into a tie with the Falcons. The good news in Atlanta is that they beat the Los Angeles Rams last week and their final three games are against more teams with losing records. It all starts this week against one of the worst teams in the NFL — the San Francisco 49ers.
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If it weren’t for the Cleveland Browns, the San Francisco 49ers would be the worst team in the NFL. While the Browns have not won a game this year, the 49ers at least beat the Los Angeles Rams in the first game of the season. Since then, the 49ers have lost 12 straight games and are 1-12 as the season rolls to an end for the once-proud franchise.
San Francisco 49ers On Offense
The Philadelphia Eagles fired Chip Kelly last season and he quickly signed with the San Francisco 49ers to try to revive his NFL coaching career. It hasn’t worked. He started the season with Blaine Gabbert as the starting quarterback, but after he struggled through the first five games of the season, he was replaced by Colin Kaepernick. The former playoff quarterback came in and hasn’t done much better, throwing 11 touchdowns, three interceptions, and fumbling the ball seven times. However, Kaepernick gives San Francisco a big weapon as a runner, with 416 rushing yards and a touchdown on the ground.
The only real offensive weapon for San Francisco is running back Carlos Hyde, who has run for 879 yards and six touchdowns this season. No wide receiver has reached 50 receptions yet and only two have eclipsed 30 receptions on the season. The 49ers rank 29th in the NFL in total offense and dead last in passing offense.
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The San Francisco 49ers defense is not much better. They rank last in the NFL in total defense but rank 15th against the pass, which is where the Falcons specialize. However, Atlanta also has some good running backs and the 49ers give up 170 yards rushing a game this season.
San Francisco 49ers Players To Watch
Carlos Hyde – In the loss to the New York Jets this past Sunday, Carlos Hyde ran for 193 yards and is the only threat to the Atlanta Falcons defense this weekend. If the 49ers want any chance to win this weekend, they need to run Hyde long and hard in the game, controlling the clock.
Colin Kaepernick – In the Jets game, Kaepernick actually put his 49ers on top early with a touchdown run, but he is no threat in the passing game. Much like Hyde, the 49ers need Kaepernick to just run the clock as much as they can to keep the Atlanta offense off the field.
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It’s highly unlikely that the San Francisco 49ers have a chance to win this game. The Atlanta Falcons have one of the highest powered offenses in the NFL and the 49ers can’t score at all. This should be the Falcons’ second straight blowout win.