The San Francisco 49ers thought it would be best to serve Atlanta Falcons fans a wake-up call for Christmas. Well, here it is. The Falcons are not a playoff team. The 49ers dominated the Falcons both on the offensive and defensive sides of the ball. The Falcons admittedly had the advantage in the special teams game. But that slight advantage did not matter as the score still came out at an embarrassing 31-13. Here’s how the Falcons went into San Francisco with playoff hopes and came out with a holiday drubbing.
San Francisco Drubbing Brings Falcons Back Down to Earth
The word drubbing is just the best word for what happened Sunday. A drubbing is defined as “a beating; a thrashing” by the Oxford dictionary, which is what Kyle Shanahan dialed up for his former team.
Jimmy Garoppolo surgically dissected this struggling Atlanta defense for a clip of 18/23 for 235 yards and a touchdown. Those accuracy numbers only occur when playing on All-Madden against the CPU. The running game of the 49ers also tore into the defensive line of the Falcons for a total of 162 yards.
There was no stopping the Shanahan offense as key starters Deebo Samuel and George Kittle beat them both in the air and on the ground. Kittle found himself wide open throughout the game. Whether it was third and long or San Francisco just needed a big play, Kittle was always there. Samuel ended the day with 29 yards rushing and 60 receiving while living up to his namesake from the “Friday” movie Franchise. Samuel’s running style is not only based on speed but power. Just ask A.J. Terrell
— Rob Lowder (@Rob_Lowder) December 19, 2021
By the middle of the third quarter, the 49ers had outgained the Falcons 269-91 and it looked even worse than the differential suggests. San Francisco obtained whatever they wanted, however, they wanted while the Falcons seemed to have to fight for every yard they gained. One player that did not have to fight for his yardage was San Francisco running back Jeff Wilson, Jr. He ended up with 110 yards and became the first 100-yard rusher against Atlanta since December 24th, 2019.
A Completely Unfair Fight
With the Paul-Woodley fight happening this same weekend, it was fair to say that the Falcons suffered a similar knockout blow early in the game. The Falcons got a chance early to put points on the board after a special teams fumble. The team put the ball deep into 49ers territory and the Falcons had a prime chance to take an early lead. Instead, after gaining first and goal from the one-yard line, the Falcons plans were thwarted, and they came away with zero points.
Even after getting great field position after a rare stop from the defense, the Falcons were only able to muster up a field goal. Good teams, scratch that, playoff teams put the ball into the end zone after two major opportunities like that.
The Falcons were completely unmatched both in the trenches and out in the skill positions. In the trenches, the San Francisco lines could be seen putting white jerseys on their backs throughout the game. Matt Ryan’s playstyle is primarily from the pocket, when that pocket is clean on less than a quarter of his chances, there is not a lot of good that can happen.
The 49ers had 7.1 yards per play, the Falcons had 4.7. The 49ers had 9.8 yards per pass, the Falcons only had 6.1. The Falcons did not touch Jimmy Garoppolo in the pocket; Matt Ryan was sacked three times and pressured many more.
What’s Next for the Atlanta Falcons?
The San Francisco 49ers did the Falcons a huge favor with this late-season drubbing. This is not a playoff team and if this team found a way to sneak in, it would not have looked any better than this game would have. The Atlanta faithful can now look towards the future of the team through the potential off-season and draft moves.
Next week is a Detroit Lions team who, most recently, just upset one of the teams with the best record in the NFL in the Arizona Cardinals. The Lions will not be the cakewalk the Falcons had expected when the NFL announced the schedule earlier this year.