clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Bird Watch: San Francisco 49ers Edition

Putting the birds on blast


Welcome, you dirtiest of birds, to this week’s edition of Bird Watch. In this weekly segment, we will provide you a list of people, places or things which we have our eyes on.

Whether it be due to poor performance, a bad feeling or the need for an individual to RISE UP, the members of this list had better tread lightly, because we will be watching.

One week after dismantling the Los Angeles Rams and sending Jeff Fisher packing, the Atlanta Falcons return home for another matchup with a lowly NFC West team.

The San Francisco 49ers have only one win to their name, a Week 1-victory against the Rams. Their passing attack is the worst in the NFL and they average 19.3 points per game, which is 26th in the league. Defensively, they allow an NFL-worst 30.2 points per contest.

Bottom line, this is a game the Falcons should once again win comfortably. But, *insert any of the million clichés about how anything can happen on Sundays.*

It’s interesting to think back to 2012, when both of these teams were at the pinnacle of the NFC and looked poised to stay atop for several years. Of course, that didn’t happen and both teams regressed after reaching those heights.

Atlanta’s tumble was a quick one, though, and the Falcons are in position to make a return to the postseason for the first time since that 2012 run.

As for the 49ers, well…

Now, let’s break down the people to keep an eye on this weekend.

DeVondre Campbell: While Deion Jones continues to improve with each passing week during his first season, Campbell has had a couple of rough outings in recent weeks. Overall, the rookie linebacker has been a pleasant surprise and appears to be ahead of schedule in his development, but he has to become a more reliable tackler and stop making mistakes in pass coverage. Against a player like Carlos Hyde, Campbell and the rest of the linebacker corps will need to bring their “A” game.

Mohamed Sanu: After missing last week’s game due to injury, Sanu will be back on the field for this one. Julio Jones will miss his second straight game as he heals from an injury of his own, meaning that Sanu is the de-facto No. 1 receiver. Atlanta’s offense has excelled when spreading the ball around, but this is an interesting opportunity to see what Sanu can really do. The Falcons paid him to be the No. 2 receiver, but now he’s got one game to prove he can perform as the team’s top option.

Eric Weems: He earned a spot on this list after one of the biggest head-scratching moments I’ve ever seen watching Falcons football, and there have been a lot of them over the years.

If you walked outside at the moment that play occurred, you would have heard a collective “what?” emanating from the entire city of Atlanta. Let’s not do that again, Eric.

The secondary: San Francisco doesn’t have a passing attack that should scare any team, but Atlanta is exactly would you would call “healthy” in the defensive backfield. This game should provide valuable experience for some of the newer additions to the lineup, but they need to show they are capable of containing the 49ers.

Colin Kaepernick: Mobile quarterbacks have given this Falcons defense a little bit of a hard time in 2016, and Kaepernick certainly falls under that category. He may not be a dangerous passer this season, but he can still run for days. The last things fans want to see on Sunday is Kaepernick doing his best Michael Vick impersonation.

New Orleans Saints: Drew Brees hasn’t thrown a touchdown pass in the month of December, and the Saints are tied with Carolina for last in the division. All is as it should be.