Atlanta Falcons Blog

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

5 things to know before today's Falcons at 49ers kickoff

SAN FRANCISCO -- Here are 5 things to mull over before today’s 4 p.m. kickoff between the Falcons (6-2) and the 49ers (2-6) at Levi Stadium in Santa Clara, Calif.

  1. RODDY WHITE AS A DECOY: Falcons wide receiver Roddy White has had some of biggest games against the San Francisco 49ers. But in the first half of the season, White has basically been a decoy in the new offense with just 16 catches for 210 yards. White doesn’t appears set to notch in fifth consecutive 100-yard receiving game (including the playoffs) against the 49ers. In the past four meetings, White has 34 catches for 555 yards (138.8 per game) and three touchdowns. Back in 2009, in a 45-10 rout, White caught 10 passes for a career-high 210 yards against the 49ers at Candlestick.
  2. GRABBING GABBERT: San Francisco quarterback Blaine Gabbert completed 82.1 percent of his preseason passes. The 49ers having given up 28 sacks this season, fourth highest in the NFL. The Falcons have just 10 sacks, second-fewest in the league. Colin Kaepernick's string of 53 consecutive starts for the 49ers is set to come to an end.
  3. RUN STUFFING: The 49ers are going to try to lean on their running game against the Falcons. The Falcons give up 83.4 yards per game, which ranks third in the league and have held former 1,000-yard backs DeMarco Murray (Philadelphia), Arian Foster (Houston) and Alfred Morris (Washington to less than 15 yards rushing this season. Running backs Pierre Thomas, Kendall Gaskins and Shaun Draughn will split the duty with Carlos Hyde (foot) and Mike Davis (hand) 0ut.
  4. WEATHER FORECAST: Temperatures are slated to be high of 61 and low of 46. Morning rain is expected which could make for a slippery track at Levi Stadium, which has had some sodding issues. Wind expected at 12 miles per hour. (
  5. SERIES MATCHUP: This will be the 76th meeting between the Falcons and the 49ers in an old NFC West rematch. The 49ers hold a 45-29-1 edge over the Falcons. The two teams have meet twice in the playoffs, with the 49ers winning in the 2012 NFC championship game, 28-24.


A far cry from recent NFC championship matchup

QB CORNER: Matt Ryan discusses his recent woes

FAST AND PHYSICAL: Rookie Jalen Collins must hold up on deep passes

RISE UP: Worrilow concerned about 49ers ' run game

ANALYTICS: Gabbert has played to historical lows

MATCHUPS: 3 key matchups -- Falcons at 49ers

BEHIND ENEMY LINES: Bowman hopes to get boost from QB switch

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The AJC’s D. Orlando Ledbetter & CineSport’s Noah Coslov discuss how to approach the 49ers game with Blaine Gabbert starting, the Falcons issues at center & the biggest challenge facing the team.

Here's how the Falcons achieved their 6-2 start

Here's a look back at the game stories, news and notes from the Falcons' 23-20 overtime loss to Tampa Bay,  win over the Titans (10-7), the loss to the Saints (31-21) and their victories over the Redskins (25-19 in OT), Texans (48-21), Cowboys (39-28), Giants (24-20) and Eagles (26-24).

TAMPA BAY GAME COVERAGE -- Bucs 23, Falcons 20 in OT

5 things we learned in the Falcons' 23-20 loss to the Bucs

How the Falcons lost to the Bucs in OT

10 comments from Dan Quinn after the loss to the Bucs

Adams disagreed with overtime pass interference call

Matt Ryan's miscues help to gift the Bucs' 20 points

QUOTEBOARD: What the Falcons were saying after the 23-20 loss to the Bucs

Tampa Bay QB Jameis Winston bests his role model: 'Mr. Ryan'

Falcons defense holds up, but forces no turnovers

Falcons rallied behind wide receiver Julio Jones

Bucs rookie linebacker Alexander dedicates win to deceased brother

TENNESSEE GAME COVERAGE -- Falcons 10, Titans 7

5 things we learned from the Falcons' 10-7 victory over the Titans

BRADLEY: Falcons do enough to survive

10 comments from Dan Quinn after the Falcons' 10-7 victory over the Titans

NEW ORLEANS GAME COVERAGE -- Saints 31, Falcons 21

5 things we learned in the Falcons' 31-21 loss to the Saints

Saints hand Falcons their first loss -- Quarter by Quarter

Matt Ryan: 'It was a tough night'

5 comments from Dan Quinn on the Falcons' loss

What the Falcons had to say after their 31-21 loss to the Saints

Why didn't the Falcons feed Freeman? -- Mike Check

Falcons flash some of their ugly past -- Jeff Schultz column

Falcons-Saints by the numbers

Tweetcap: Falcons flop in New Orleans

WASHINGTON GAME COVERAGE -- Falcons 25, Redskins 19 in OT

Falcons pull out 25-19 victory over Redskins in OT -- Quarter by Quarter

5 things we learned in the Falcons' 25-19 win over the Redskins

Alford's 59-yard interception return saves the day

What the Falcons had to say after the 25-19 win

Ryan, offense struggle with turnovers

Mark Bradley column: The Frenetic Falcons: Five-and-oh-my!

Roddy White hears support from the crowd

15 comments from Dan Quinn on the Falcons' victory

Roddy White: 'I'll be a Falcons for life'

Tweetcap: Falcons beat Redskins in OT

TEXANS GAME COVERAGE -- Falcons 48, Texans 21

How the Falcons hammered the Texans -- Quarter by Quarter

5 things we learned from the Falcons' 48-21 win over the Texans

Devonta Freeman stars again for the Falcons

What the Falcons had to say after pummeling the Texans

9 comments from Dan Quinn on the Falcons' victory

Jeff Schult'z column: Devonta Freeman, 7 TDs -- who didn't see that coming

Schraeder, Matthews keep Watt in check

Hankerson turns in a 100-yard receiving day (second of his career)

Houston's J.J. Watt tips hat to the Falcons

Former Falcons great Jessie Tuggle honored during Texans game

COWBOYS GAME COVERAGE -- Falcons 39, Cowboys 28

Falcons 39, Cowboys 28 -- Quarter by Quarter

5 things we learned from the Falcons' 39-28 win over the Cowboys

Mark Bradley's short takes: Julio, Freeman and the defense

Devonta Freeman is catalyst for Falcons run game

QUOTEBOARD: What the Falcons had to say after beating Dallas

Julio Jones does it again: 12 catches, 164 yards and two touchdowns

Mark Bradley column: A dominant half shows what he Falcons could be

Offensive line cracked the run-game code

Ryan directed second-half fireworks show

Beasley help lead resurgence on defense

Where's Falcons wide receiver Roddy White?

GIANTS GAME COVERAGE -- Falcons 24, Giants 20

Falcons 24, Giants 20 -- Quarter by Quarter

5 things we learned from Falcons' 24-20 win over the Giants

Mark Bradley column -- Don't stop believin': Dan Quinn's men are 2-0

A record day for Julio Jones: 13 receptions

Kroy Biermann: 'We're a ball-attacking team'


5 things we learned from Falcons' upset win over Eagles

Matt Ryan leads Falcons to 26-24 win over the Eagles

Jeff Schultz column: An impressive debut by Quinn's new Falcons

Mark Bradley column: A new year: The Falcons dig deep and hang on

Julio Jones moves into fifth on Falcons' all-time receiving list

Tevin Coleman powers new rushing attack

Ricardo Allen seals victory in first start at free safety

4 questions with Falcons wide receiver Julio Jones after the game

Falcons rookies Beasley, Jarrett make impact

Falcons' revamped offensive line shows positive signs

Falcons quotes after their victory over the Eagles

Falcons-Eagles: By The Numbers



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About the Author

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