On Monday night, the San Francisco 49ers will play the last ever game inside of Candlestick Park. They will be playing the Atlanta Falcons in a rematch of last year’s NFC Championship game. When this year’s schedules first came out, many people circled in on their calenders. Two potential Super Contenders playing a rematch game for Candlestick’s final game? Who wouldn’t be excited for that game? Unfortunately for football fans and more importantly the Falcons, this game isn’t going to be what everyone expected. The Falcons have had an extremely unfortunate season that has been riddled with injuries and disappointment. Although the Falcons have been pretty terrible this season, they are still a professional football team, and that makes them a threat.
The threat that the Falcons posses is on offense. Their defense has been consistently horrible this season, so as long as the 49ers can put together a couple drives, that should be able to put up points. The offense is what needs to be worried about. Fortunately for the 49ers, their strength plays right into the Falcons’ strength.
Although their season has been very lackluster, the Falcons still have many threats on offense. They have Matt Ryan who many will claim is a top 10 quarterback in the NFL. They still have Roddy White who is always a threat, and with Julio Jones out, they have Harry Douglas who is just 27 yards away from a 1000 yard season. They also have the ageless wonder, Tony Gonzalez, who leads the team with seven touchdowns. One player they didn’t have last year when the 49ers played them is ex-Ram Steven Jackson. The 49ers are greatly familiar with Jackson, as they faced him twice a year for nine years. In fact, last year 49ers’ linebacker Patrick Willis said Jackson was one of the toughest guys to tackle in the NFL.
To beat the Falcons, the 49ers just need to do what they’ve been doing all year. The offense has to play mistake-free football and put up points. As long as they can put up some points on the board and not help the Falcons by turning over the ball, the defense should be able to handle their side of the ball. There is no secret to defeat the Falcons. All that has to be done is beat the man across from you. Simple, basic football is what will win this game.
Looking at the stats, the Falcons hardly seem like a threat. The only category they rank in the top 15 of the league is pass yards per game, which they are ranked eighth. On paper, this should be an easy game for the 49ers. But you can never take any game lightly. You see upsets every week in the NFL, and the 49ers are going to have play the Falcons just like any other team if they want to avoid being apart of one of those upsets.