Following a demolition of the Carolina Panthers (again), the Falcons travel to the bay area so they can square up against the best team in the NFC. Atlanta sits at 4-9 and eliminated from the playoff picture while the 49ers sit atop the conference following an electric win against the New Orleans Saints.
It’s that time of the week again — the game is close to 24 hours from kicking off, and football fever is nearing its peak.
Let’s take a look at the hypotheticals of this game — what if the Falcons win and move their record to 4-10? What if they lose and fall to 5-9?
If the Falcons win
They’ll have registered road wins against the two best teams in the NFC this season (the Saints and 49ers), creating some serious good feeling in the locker room and possibly helping Dan Quinn keep his job beyond this year (although I doubt it).
Atlanta’s draft positioning would continue to get progressively worse. Sitting at pick number 8 right now, the Falcons stand to possibly drop to pick 12 depending on other scores around the league. Having already pretty much dropped out of the Chase Young race, Atlanta could also find themselves out of the Derrick Brown/A.J. Epenesa race as well.
A Falcons win would also be very good for the Saints, as it would give them an opportunity to move into first place in the NFC with a victory of their own and a Seahawks win. Take that information how you want, but I personally am always against helping out the Saints in any way.
If the Falcons lose
It would be expected. Nobody is predicting an Atlanta win in San Francisco against Kyle Shanahan’s amazing offense (I miss him).
The Falcons also stand to move back into the top 5 of the NFL draft depending on other NFL scores. They have a very important tank game against the Jacksonville Jaguars coming up next week, and a loss here would potentially set the stage for some positive draft movement.
The 49ers would consolidate the top spot in the NFC for at least another week. They own a one-game lead and the tiebreaker over the Saints, but are only one game ahead of the Seahawks in the NFC West race as well. They have a crucial Week 17 matchup in Seattle looming on the horizon.
The Saints are likely rooting for the Falcons this week.