So unrealistic predictions in both blowouts and baseball scores have both been ineffective for me, so we're going with a barn burner score. Don't ask me how they get to 19, they just do. Until the team shows me that, for four quarters, it can win the turnover battle, I don't expect this team to run anybody out of the building. Certainly all signs would point to us doing just that, considering Blaine Gabbert is starting and their best offensive weapon is now a Bronco, but color me shocked if they don't use noted Falcon killer Pierre Thomas to make some waves in our improved - but not great - defense.
Falcons 20, 49ers 12
The 49ers are a train wreck of a team right now. Any team that willingly starts Blaine Gabbert as their QB is clearly in "tank" mode. They have almost no viable receiving options. Their once dominant offensive line is gone. The defense that used to carry them has been scattered to the four winds. The Falcons are just a better team - on both sides of the ball. I still think the Falcons will need until after the bye week to fully get their act together, but this game is very winnable. It could still be ugly, but I don't see how Ryan and company don't go into the bye with a 7-2 record.
Falcons 24, 49ers 13
Had the Falcons been playing literally anyone else right now, I would have likely went with a loss due to terrible offensive urgency and ball security. Luckily, San Francisco is one of the teams that you can afford some mistakes against, so I'm still predicting a Falcons victory here. However, I'm reserving my "blowout" expectations for when this team can prove to me that they can adequately handle a lesser opponent once again. Until that time, Atlanta will benefit from playing a trainwreck 49ers team throwing Blaine Gabbert to the wolves, and SHOULD give us a relatively easy day. A.K.A. expect the opposite, yeah?
Falcons 28, 49ers 10
The Falcons have turned the ball over 12 times — many of them unforced — in the last four games. That ends against the 49ers, a true dumpster fire of a team. Colin Kaepernick was benched in favor of Blaine Gabbert, a quarterback who was the worst in the league when he was a starter. San Francisco's top three running backs are injured, and two recently signed players — Shaun Draughn and Pierre Thomas — are expected to get the bulk of the work. They traded Vernon Davis to the Broncos, and have virtually no weapons on the outside. If the Falcons can't get a win here, then things have gone horribly awry.
Falcons 24, 49ers 6
Without Carlos Hyde and Anquan Boldin, it's hard to see how San Francisco can move the ball at all. Torrey Smith has been anonymous so far this season. Joe Staley is the only above-average lineman on their roster. Atlanta has been underwhelming for the past month, but last week seemed to be the perfect wake up call. If they can convert red zone opportunities and not turn the ball over repeatedly, this game shouldn't present any issues.
Falcons 24, 49ers 21
How awesome would THREE TOUCHDOWNS sound right now? THREE OFFENSIVE TOUCHDOWNS? Remember when Freeman could score JUST THREE TOUCHDOWNS PLEASE GOD REMEMBER THOSE HALCYON DAYS OF SEPTEMBER 2015? That's the benchmark - more offensive touchdowns than turnovers. And sure, it would be great if this young, thin pass rush could respond to this Gabbert disrespect business by drilling his weiner in the dirt, but I'd settle for Ryan-Jones-White battery to regain some respectability.
Nathan Butler Jr.
Falcons 30, 49ers 10
Without Carlos Hyde, Anquan Bdon and considering the major changes over the week, I can't possibly see the Niners posing that much of a threat to the Falcons on Sunday afternoon. The Falcons will look for a bounce back performance after the heartbreaking loss at home against Tampa Bay. Julio Jones will post another monster game and Devonta Freeman will score two touchdowns and cruise to a nice win out in San Fran.
Falcons 34, 49ers 20
I don't want to predict a multi-score win with the way the last few games have gone, but this is a beat-up, dispirited 49ers team starting Blaine Gabbert at quarterback, and the Falcons are a better team than their play over the last four weeks would indicate. Look for Atlanta to get back on track in a big way out in Santa Clara.
Falcons 73, 49ers 3
Have I adjusted my predictions in the slightest after expecting months of blowout wins? No. No I have not. Sooner or later the moons will align, cosmic forces will become balanced, and our players will stop snapping footballs into their butts. Let me use the same match up reasoning I think I have used for weeks: the opposing team has bad coaching, a weak defense, and an awful quarterback, so the Falcons will win by a lot.