TALE OF THE TAPE

Tale Of The Tape: Atlanta Falcons At San Francisco 49ers

Atlanta Falcons
San Francisco 49ers
Washington Redskins v Atlanta Falcons
(Photo by Al Messerschmidt/Getty Images)
(Photo by Al Messerschmidt/Getty Images)
Quarterback
The Falcons are in a tough spot, going across the country to play on Monday Night against a motivated opponent. Matt Ryan has to find a way to make the plays against a tough 49ers defense. When Ryan is on his game, he is one of the most accurate short- and medium-range passers in the game. Ryan has completed 66.7 percent of his passes and has a 22-14 TD-interception ratio.
Winner The 49ers are competing for playoff position, so they are not going to let up in this game. Colin Kaepernick and the Niners realize that the Falcons have been out of the playoff race for several weeks, so they need to assert themselves early in this game. Kaepernick has the athleticism and arm strength to slice and dice Atlanta’s defense.
Offense
While the Falcons have suffered serious injuries on the offensive side of the ball from the earliest days of the season, they have gotten a boost from the return of running back Steven Jackson. While he does not have great numbers – 448 yards and a 3.5 yards per carry average – he gives the Falcons a power-running presence. Roddy White, Harry Douglas and Tony Gonzalez are all solid receiving targets.
Winner The 49ers will try to batter the undersized Falcons defense with their power-running attack. Frank Gore is one of the best between-the-tackles running backs in the league. He has rushed for 1,017 yards and eight touchdowns. Anquan Boldin is a strong receiver who will catch the ball in traffic. Tight end Vernon Davis can stretch the field.
Defense
The Falcons have been vulnerable all season and rank 29th on defense. While they have many weaknesses, linebacker Paul Worrilow has been a find this season. He leads the team with 109 tackles and he can go sideline to sideline to make plays. Defensive end Osi Umenyiora has been the Falcons’ best pass rusher. He has a team-high 7.5 sacks.
Winner The 49ers are a powerful, aggressive and hard-hitting defense that ranks third in the league. Linebacker NaVorro Bowman sets the tone for this unit and he leads the team with 124 stops. Ahmad Brooks has done a superb job of rushing the passer and has a team-high 8.5 sacks. Free safety Eric Reid has four interception and two fumble recoveries.
Special Teams
The Falcons have done a solid job of covering kickoffs and punts, but they have not gotten the kind of big plays they were expecting from Jacquizz Rodgers or Douglas. Placekicker Matt Bryant has had another solid year, connecting on 21-of-24 FG attempts.
Winner The 49ers have done an excellent job of covering kickoffs and punts this season. Jim Harbaugh’s team has excelled in that category for the last three seasons. Placekicker Phil Dawson has been a solid investment for the 49ers. He has made 27-of-30 FG attempts this season.

The Winner Is

(Photo by Al Messerschmidt/Getty Images)
Winner San Francisco 49ers
4 out of 4

The Niners want to close the show at Candlestick Park with a memorable victory. The Niners move into a new stadium next year and they want to dominate in their final game at the former home of Joe Montana, John Brodie, Jerry Rice and Steve Young.

MORE TALES OF THE TAPE

  1. Zito 2007 Contract Zito
    Barry Zito’s 2006 Giants Contract Vs. His 2015 A’s Contract

    In 2006, Barry Zito was the biggest free agent pitcher signing in MLB history. Eight Years later he’s trying out the team that originally drafted him, hoping for a chance to make a small fraction of his Giants contract. The veteran lefty says he’s playing now for the love of the game. A look at his pay cut will sure make you believe him. Check the numbers:

  2. (Tom Hauck/Getty Images) St Louis Cardinals v San Francisco Giants
    Tale Of The Tape: Willie Mays’ 1966 Contract Vs. Modern Baseball Salaries

    On February 11th, 1966 Willie Mays signed a $130,000 contract with the Giants. At the time, it was the highest in the league. Now the league MINIMUM is $500,000. How would Mays, one of the league’s all time greats, be paid if he were a free agent today? Let’s measure up.

  3. Tom Brady (Photo by George Rose/Getty Images)
    Tale Of The Tape: Tom Brady Vs. Joe Montana

    If you grew up watching Bay Area football in the 1980’s you dreamed of matching the magic of Joe Montana (or even dressed like him for Halloween). Some of us have come closer than others. After another Super Bowl win, is San Mateo’s own Tom Brady finally there?

See All Tales of the Tape
Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 58,850 other followers