Can The Falcons Beat the 49ers? Eight Interesting Reasons Why The Falcons Could Win And Cover On Sunday
by Sports Handicapper Charles Jay - Exclusive to Predictem.com
The Atlanta Falcons had the best record in the NFC, and home field advantage during the conference playoffs, but they are still a team that has something to prove. They had lost their only three playoff games under coach Mike Smith until last week, when they may have been lucky to get out alive against Seattle.
The public doesn’t have a whole lot of confidence in this crew; in fact, the Falcons are four-point underdogs on Sunday, according to the odds that have been posted atBetAnySports.
Can they cover this game, or even win it? Well, we’ve got eight pretty good reasons that Dirty Bird fan has to support that argument:
1. The Falcons have been a good fundamental football team that has minimized turnovers and forced their share too. In fact, their turnover margin of +13 is better than that of the Niners (+10).
2. Atlanta is probably as good as any team in the NFL when it comes to achieving balance, not necessarily in the overall offense, but in the passing game. They have two stellar wide receivers (Julio Jones and Roddy White) who gained over 1000 yards through the air in the regular season, and a tight end (Tony Gonzalez) who had 930. This is perhaps the best trio of pass-catchers in the league.
3. If there is one place that the Niners can possibly be attacked, it is through the air, as the defense allowed 21 touchdown passes. If Matt Ryan can stay upright with time to throw, there can be some interesting developments.
4. Speaking of that, Ryan is indeed pretty well-protected; in fact, he has been sacked once for every 22 pass attempts (he’s thrown the ball 615 times).
5. Atlanta’s secondary has held opposing quarterbacks to a 77.1 rating. And the Niners’ receiving corps is not very deep; in fact, Michael Crabtree has twice as many catches as anyone else on the roster. And Randy Moss would have been used more if he was close to being the threat he used to be.
6. When Matt Ryan is at quarterback, the Falcons have had a stellar record at the Georgia Dome, winning 34 of 40 games straight-up. That’s a very powerful number to look at when you are talking about a team that is getting points at home in theBetAnySportsNFL odds.
7. The Falcons are a team that rarely beats itself with penalties - they get flagged just 55 times in the regular season, and took only three penalties for eleven yards against Seattle. The Niners have suffered twice as many penalties.
8. San Francisco kicker David Akers has gone to six Pro Bowls, but he has been shaky this season. How shaky? Well, even though he tied the record for the longest field goal in NFL history, he has missed 13 of his 43 attempts, giving him the lowest percentage he’s had in any full season of his career. As if the Niners needed more special teams problems after last year’s NFC title game.
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