This one looked like it’d be an easy Falcons win, but this easy? That was unexpected.
The Falcons pummeled the hapless 49ers en route to their 9th win, which ensured their first winning season in four years and represented their second straight blowout. Atlanta didn’t put together a perfect effort, but they were potent on offense and solid on defense, and that was more than enough against a San Francisco team that looks like it’s eager to go on vacation for the year.
I’m not going to go on and on, because you’re basking in this one, as you should. Here’s the quarter-by-quarter breakdown, if you’d like to re-live a fun game.
The Falcons forced a swift three and out on the first drive, as we all hoped.
Then they got the ball back, got a beautiful return from Eric Weems, and marched down the field for a quick score. Devonta Freeman punched it in from five yards out to give Atlanta their first lead of the game.
Then the 49ers fumbled the ball away on a bit hit from Deion Jones, which led to another offensive drive. Matt Ryan drove the team down the field and Taylor Gabriel scored the touchdown, leading to a 14-0 lead.
The 49ers (surprise!) were forced to punt again on the next drive. The Falcons drove down the field, overcoming a false start, and scored yet again with Matt Ryan’s second touchdown pass. That meant a 21-0 lead, and the franchise scoring record for Atlanta.
It’s a blur! The 49ers actually scored in the second quarter, putting up their first touchdown of the day thanks to a couple of longer plays against a defense that kind of faded.
Atlanta immediately responded by driving down the field with a 59 yard pass to Aldrick Robinson and a long run, but unfortunately Devonta Freeman fumbled and turned the ball over before he crossed the plane. The 49ers responded immediately by turning around and driving, but had to punt thanks to a Vic Beasley sack and some solid defense.
The Falcons took advantage, driving down again and giving Devonta Freeman a shot at redemption. He scored from nine yards out and the Falcons were up 28-7.
Unfortunately, the 49ers were able to drive on the next...drive...scoring a touchdown to potentially bring them within two touchdowns. Unfortunately for San Francisco, they missed the extra point, which left the Falcons up 28-13 with just 13 seconds left in the half.
The Falcons got the ball to start the second half and looked to be driving effectively, but they wound up stalling out and punting on the drive. So did San Francisco, thankfully, which gave the Falcons another opportunity to turn this one into a true blowout.
They weren’t quite able to capitalize, but they were able to drive down for three points, giving the team a 31-13 lead. San Francisco turned around and dithered for a little bit, giving Atlanta the ball back.
They took full advantage. A long Taylor Gabriel pass set up a 30-plus yard Devonta Freeman touchdown gallop, his third score of the game, and the Falcons were up 38-13.
The 49ers (!) punted.
The Falcons got the ball back and promptly started moving on a drive that featured a 30 yard pass to Levine Toilolo, of all people. They were forced to punt.
Okay, that last drive bled into the fourth quarter, whatever. The 49ers actually got going on their first drive of the final quarter, but they were (stunningly) forced to punt. Poor Brad Pinion.
The Falcons started their next drive with a 45 yard run from Terron Ward, which created dark despair in the hearts of 49ers fans watching. The Falcons settled for a field goal, making the score 41-13, and then the Niners feebly drove until the time ran out. That’s the ballgame, friends.