As I outlined earlier this week, I expect the Falcons to win this one by a score of about 35-24, give or take a few points. Atlanta’s simply the better football team, and so I anticipate the score will reflect that.
David Fucillo of Niners Nation is back one last time to give us his prediction for the game. Here it is, and I think you’ll like it.
David Fucillo: I go back and forth on this game. The 49ers have actually been a very good first quarter team. Football Outsiders ranks their offense and defense No. 9 and No. 8, respectively, in the first quarter. Things quickly fall apart, however. The offense ranks 16th, 30th, and 23rd in the remaining three quarters. The defense ranks 32nd, 14th, and 30th in the remaining three quarters.
I would not be surprise to see the 49ers jump out to an early lead, maybe 10-0 or something along those lines, and have Falcons fans sweating into the second quarter. Things will slow down in the second quarter and it will probably be tied or the Falcons will have a small lead at halftime. Then, the 49ers will go into a shell in the third quarter while the Falcons take a sizable lead. We might see some fourth quarter shenanigans from the 49ers, but in the end they lose and likely fail to cover by a final score of something like 35-20. Of course, I also am picking the Falcons to cover the spread, so beware as my AT picks have been truly atrocious this season.
It is also possible the Falcons just blow the 49ers out from right out of the gate. I do think even in that case we see some garbage time points, but this team is losing players at a ridiculous rate, and they were already thin along the depth chart. I don't think they quit, but they're just not good enough. Crazy things happen in the NFL, but a 49ers win would be the biggest upset in the NFL in the past couple years. A slim cover is possible, but I think we end up seeing the Falcons cover this one.