Atlanta’s defense may not be good. However, the unit has been good enough in recent weeks, slowing down opposing offenses and creating big plays when needed. Sacks and picks and turnovers are finally things the defense can find late in games.
Most notably, pass rusher Dante Fowler has been turning into an important player along a bad defensive line. Fowler was signed to bookend Takkarist McKinley. Things have changed a lot, and after a lost 2020 season, Fowler is turning on the heat late in 2021. The problem was Fowler went down against the Carolina Panthers and missed two practices this week.
The good news: He is officially active.
The following players are out against the 49ers:
- QB Josh Rosen
- OL Josh Andrews
- DL John Cominksy
- DL Marlon Davidson
- DL Jonathan Bullard
Dean Pees has been trying to find his right combination of players, especially along the defensive line. The bad news is the right combination seems to have less and less of formerly highly-touted draft picks. Second-round pick Marlon Davidson has seen his snaps drop in recent weeks. Now they are at zero. Cominsky was a project some considered having potential to be a big contributor. That has never happened. Now he is struggling to play.
All in all, the Falcons are healthy. The 49ers are less so. The following players were ruled out:
- RB Elijah Mitchel
- LB Azeez Al-Shaair
- LB Dre Greenlaw
- OL Colton McKivitz
- DL Maurice Hurst
The Falcons desperately need a win today to have a realistic shot at the playoffs. With a loss, the Falcons need a few miracles down the stretch to make it.