Beset by injuries, the San Francisco 49ers will have to utilize the next-man up mentality when they hit the road Sunday to take on a longtime rival in the Atlanta Falcons.
The 49ers lost cornerback Emmanuel Moseley for the season due to a torn ACL in his left knee while safety Jimmie Ward (broken hand), kicker Robbie Gould (bruised knee) and defensive end Nick Bosa (groin) could miss this game and possibly more.
Kyle Shanahan’s team already had a lengthy list of injured players, including Trey Lance, Trent Williams, Arik Armstead and Elijah Mitchell, but it has been able to weather the storm with back-to-back wins over the Los Angeles Rams and Carolina Panthers.
“We know we’ve been in those situations and we’ve fought our way out of it,” fullback Kyle Juszczyk told the media of the 49ers’ injury history, which proved too much to overcome in the 2018 and 2020 seasons. “So, I feel like maybe it gives you a little bit of a sense of comfort of knowing we’ve done it before and come out of it again.”
The Falcons have proven to be a stubborn opponent as all five of their games have been decided by fewer than seven points, including last week’s 21-16 loss to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers that ended with a controversial roughing the passer penalty.
Atlanta was without its top playmaker in Cordarrelle Patterson against the Bucs and it showed in it being held off the scoreboard for the first three quarters.
The Falcons got some good news when tight end Kyle Pitts returned to practice in a limited capacity Wednesday but declared himself good to go against the 49ers.
The second-year player had his best game of the season with five receptions for 87 yards Sept. 25 against the Seattle Seahawks, but injured his hamstring against the Cleveland Browns and missed last week’s games against the Buccaneers.
Let’s check the latest NFL odds, stats, injury reports, and NFL lines for 49ers vs Falcons. We’ve plenty of NFL Vegas odds for you to consider.
San Francisco 49ers
The 49ers will look to make life tough for Atlanta quarterback Marcus Mariota by adding to their league-leading sack total (21). Mariota has been sacked 12 times.
San Francisco could be without their top sack man in Bosa, who has racked up six this season, but Samson Ebukam, Drake Jackson and Charles Omenihu can pick up the slack for the 49ers, who had seven sacks against the Rams and six vs. the Panthers.
Kevin Givens has gotten to the quarterback once, but he does have five tackles for loss, which is tied for second on the team with Talanoa Hufanga.
The Falcons will have a distinct advantage on special teams over the 49ers thanks to Avery Williams, who leads the NFL with 15.7 yards per punt return.
San Francisco is last in the NFL in gross punt return yards allowed (277) and kick-off return yards allowed (366) and 31st in net punt return yards permitted (247.4).
Williams, who is in his second season, averages 23 yards per kick-off return.
The Falcons also possess one of the league’s top punters in Bradley Pinion, whose 49.3 yard average is five yards better than his counterpart Mitch Wishnowsky.
49ers vs Falcons Injury Report
49ers vs Falcons Head-to-Head
The 49ers and Falcons were longtime rivals in the old NFC West, meeting twice every season between 1967 and 2001 prior to the NFL realigning divisions in 2002.
They have met 10 times since with the Falcons winning six of those games. The 49ers, who lead the all-time series 48-32-1, triumphed 31-13 last season.
49ers vs Falcons Game Information
- Game: 49ers vs Falcons
- Location: Mercedes Benz Stadium, Atlanta, GA
- Day/Time: Sunday, Oct. 16th, 1:00 p.m. ET
- How to Watch 49ers vs Falcons? ESPN
49ers vs Falcons Live stream: NFL Game Pass
49ers vs Falcons Betting Lines
49ers vs Falcons Prediction
The Falcons, who have covered the spread in all five games this season, are 6-point underdogs at home. The 49ers are 3-2 against the spread.
This could turn out to be a trap game for the 49ers, who are 0-2 on the road and play the Kansas City Chiefs next week at home. Take the Falcons to spring the upset.
The odds and predictions in the article are based on the time of writing and publication. They may differ as to when the actual event takes place.