Atlanta Falcons Blog

Atlanta Falcons blog by D. Orlando Ledbetter, the pro football and Atlanta Falcons reporter for The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Halftime Analysis: Seven quick thoughts

SANTA CLARA, Calif. -- Here are some quick halftime thoughts as the Falcons trail the 49ers 17-13 on Sunday at three-quarters full Levi Stadium on Sunday.

1. The Blaine Gabbert Era is upon us. The former Jacksonville draft bust has the 49ers out to a 17-13 halftime lead. He’s completed 10 of 16 passes for 115 yards and two touchdowns. The 49ers hadn’t score a touchdown over the past eight quarters. Their last touchdown was a 21-yard Colin Kaepernick pass to Patton to put them up 25-13 against Baltimore in Week 7.

2. Free Roddy. The offense is stagnant. Matt Ryan has had two passes batted down. The 49ers did a good job keeping Devonta Freeman from getting outside. It’s time to get the ball to Roddy White.

3. Nice return, but run away from the tacklers. Falcons punt returner Eric Weems broke loose for a 41-yard punt return. He had plenty of room out to his right, but inexplicably ran into the punter and was tackled. The offense wasted the return and was forced to punt. It was Weems’ longest return since he had a 42-yard in 2011. It was the team’s longest return since Devin Hester had a 62-yarder against Tampa Bay in Week 3 of the 2014 season.

4. Injury report. Safety Robenson Therezie left the game with a hamstring injury. Defensive tackle Tyson Jackson left the game with a rib injury, but he returned.

5. Cover the tight end. On third-and-1 from the Falcons’ 1, Gabbert tossed a touchdown pass to a wide open Garrett Celek. Linebacker Nate Stupar didn’t honor the tight end and was two steps into the back field before realizing that it was a pass play.

6. Weak defense. The 49ers reportedly waited to start Gabbert against the Falcons because they felt they had a “weak defense.” The move has paid off early.

7. Ryan is off. Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan didn’t turn the ball over in the first half, but he completed only 14 of 21 passes for 181 yards and one touchdown.

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About the Author

D. Orlando Ledbetter is the Atlanta Falcons beat writer for The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.