Will The 49ers Beat The Falcons? Eight Good Reasons Why The Niners Could Win And Cover On Sunday
by Sports Handicapper Charles Jay – Exclusive to Predictem.com
The San Francisco 49ers feel as if they should have been lining up against New England in last season’s Super Bowl, if they hadn’t been victimized by special teams errors in their NFC title game against the Giants. Now they are back with a chance to redeem themselves, but have to take the show on the road against the Atlanta Falcons, in a Sunday game where they are listed as a four-point favorite atBetAnySports.
Here are eight reasons why they may be a good play:
1. Colin Kaepernick may be too dynamic for the Falcons to deal with. They had enough problems with Russell Wilson. Here they are facing off against a quarterback who not only had 183 yards rushing last week – the most ever for a quarterback in an NFL game – he had 165 yards before he even met with contact. Talk to people who followed Atlanta’s team this season. Did they have any difficulty with Cam Newton? You bet they did; the former Heisman winner had 202 yards on 18 carries against them in two meetings.
2. Atlanta’s running game has been subpar, to be perfectly honest, and that’s a real disappointment for a club that has a former rushing champion in Michael Turner. But he may have taken too much punishment; this team averaged just 3.7 yards a carry.
3. The Falcons have been outrushed this season, as you might imagine, but they were especially vulnerable, giving up 4.8 yards per attempt. They were also outgained by opponents on a per-play basis this season. By contrast, the Niners had a 1.3-yard advantage PER PLAY on their opponents.
4. Atlanta still hasn’t demonstrated that it is ready for the “moment.” Last week against Seattle, even with a 20-point lead in the fourth quarter, they managed to find a way to blow it, at home (to the chagrin of their backers wagering atBetAnySports), until Matt Ryan and Matt Bryant pulled a rabbit out of a hat at the end. That’s scary for a coach (Mike Smith) and QB (Ryan) with a brief history of playoff failure.
5. There is such superior balance on the part of San Francisco, which ran for 166 yards a game, while passing for 209, and had 21 TD’s on the ground, with 25 through the air. The Falcons are understandably a little more pass-happy, with 280 passing yards a game and 35 TD passes, as opposed to 92 rushing yards per contest and 12 rushing scores.
6. You might have to afford a coaching edge to San Francisco, where Jim Harbaugh is now in his second NFC title game in two seasons, while Smith has exactly one playoff win to show for four appearances.
7. Michael Crabtree has certainly emerged as a “go-to” threat for the 49ers and Kaepernick. He had nine catches for 119 yards last week, and he is looking more like the guy who won the Biletnikoff Award TWICE while at Texas Tech.
8. While Atlanta may have Jacquizz Rodgers as its “mighty mite” speedster in the backfield, the Niners have someone who can’t be ignored in LaMichael James, the former Oregon star who has averaged 4.6 yards a carry in limited action, but could be dangerous not only in the read-option, but on kickoff returns as well.
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