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3 Falcons up, 3 Falcons down in Week 15 win over 49ers

Another week, another massacre.

NFL: San Francisco 49ers at Atlanta Falcons Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports

A week after thrashing one hapless NFC West opponent, the Atlanta Falcons decided they wanted to do it again.

The Falcons crushed the San Francisco 49ers 38-13, improving to 9-5 and keeping pace in the NFC playoff race.

Whose stock rose and whose fell in the win?


Matt Ryan

It was a rather efficient evening for Ryan. He completed 17 of 23 passes for 283 yards and two touchdowns, tying the career- and franchise-high he set in 2012 with 32.

On the season, Ryan has 4,336 yards, the aforementioned 32 touchdowns and seven interceptions. He continues to make a strong case for league MVP.

Aldrick Robinson

Robinson turned in a nice outing, setting a career-high in receiving yards with 111 on four catches. His last career-high was 99 yards, set in 2013 against the Falcons in Week 15 while he was a member of the Washington Redskins. Funny how that stuff works out.

Devonta Freeman

A week after being held to 18 total yards on eight touches, Freeman exploded against the 49ers for 139 yards and three rushing touchdowns. It was the first time he eclipsed the 100-yard mark since Week 3 against the New Orleans Saints. Those three scores also gave Freeman 10 on the year — the second season in a row he’s reached double digits.


Robert Alford

Usually Alford shows up here because of the penalties, but he makes an appearance due to a couple of lapses in coverage. He allowed two touchdown passes: a 16-yard score by Garrett Celek and a five-yarder by Rod Streeter.

On the Celek touchdown, it appeared the Falcons cornerback was late moving over to the tight end. Streeter’s touchdown was the result of Alford retreating too far back into the end zone as the 49ers wide receiver ran to the goal line and turned to show his numbers to Colin Kaepernick. Neither are things you want to see for a player with a shiny new contract.

Paul Worrilow

De’Vondre Campbell left the game with a concussion, giving Paul Worrilow a chance to get on the field for an extended period. It wasn’t long before he was called for a rather foolish unnecessary roughness penalty as he tacked on a downed 49ers player long after the play was over.

Tevin Coleman

Coleman’s only here because of his first fumble of the season. While Freeman’s fumble came first and was more costly (lost at the 49ers’ one-yard line), he undoubtedly made up for it with his three-touchdown performance. On the plus side, Coleman’s fumble was recovered by Ryan Schraeder. It was rather strange both running backs fumbled in the same game after not fumbling all season, but thankfully it was against a bad team.