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

Atlanta Falcons head coach Dan Quinn, right, and team owner Arthur Blank watch during an NFL football practice Thursday, Aug. 4, 2016, in Flowery Branch, Ga.. (AP Photo/John Bazemore)

Atlanta Falcons head coach Dan Quinn, right, and team owner Arthur Blank watch during an NFL football practice Thursday, Aug. 4, 2016, in Flowery Branch, Ga.. (AP Photo/John Bazemore)

Here are 5 things to mull over before today’s 4:05 p.m. kickoff between the San Francisco 49ers (1-12) and the Atlanta Falcons (8-5) at the Georgia Dome.

BRING THE KIDS SOME TOYS: The Falcons are teaming up with the United States Marine Corps to host the 2016 Toys for Tots Drive at this game Fans are encouraged to bring new unwrapped toys and/or make a monetary donation. Marines will be stationed at all Georgia Dome gates from 2 p.m. until 4:05 p.m. to collect donations.

1. TALE OF THE TAPE:  2016 Regular Season Statistics Rankings:
Falcons                             49ers
32.9 (1) Points/Game 19.3 (26)
402.3 (3) Total Offense 314.0 (29)
106.6 (16) Net Rushing Yards/Game 136.9 (4)
295.7 (3) Net Passing Yards/Game 177.1 (32)
29:35 (21) Possession Average 26:21 (32)
26.5 (28) Opponent Points/Game 30.2 (32)
376.3 (28) Opponent Total Offense 415.3 (32)
101.1 (14) Opp. Rushing Yards/Game 170.8 (32)
275.2 (32) Opp. Passing Yards/Game 244.5 (14)
+8 (4t) Turnover Differential -3 (22)

INJURY REPORT: Falcons All-Pro wide receiver Julio Jones (sprain toe) will not play. He was declared OUT by coach Dan Quinn said on Friday. Also, safety Kemal Ishmael (shoulder surgery) was placed on injured reserve and rookie wide receiver J.D. McKissic was called up from the practice squad. Wide receiver Mohamed Sanu (groin) is expected to play against the 49ers. He did not play last week against the Rams. In addition to Jones, defensive end Adrian Clayborn (knee), cornerback Jalen Collins, safety Robenson Therezie (ankle) and wide receiver Nick Williams (concussion) will not play.

2. SERIES RECORD: This will be the 77th regular-season meeting. The 49ers lead 46-28-1. The 49ers won the last meeting 17-16 last season in Santa Clara, Ca. The two teams met in the NFC championship game after the 2012 regular season. The 49ers stormed back from a 17-0 deficit to pull out the 28-24 win and advance to the Super Bowl on Jan. 20, 2013. (Falcons fans are still waiting for the ref to throw the pass interference flag on NaVorro Bowman who mauled Roddy White on the key fourth-down play!)

3. THREE KEY MATCHUPS: Here’s a look at three key matchups:

49ers RB Carlos Hyde vs. Falcons LB Deion Jones: Hyde is closing in on a 1,000-yard season, with 897 yards and six rushing touchdowns. He rushed for 193 yards on 17 carries last week against the Jets, but was stuffed on a fourth-and-2 in overtime. Jones, who has shown big-play ability in pass coverage, must play as aggressively against the run. He is second on the team with 79 tackles.

49ers RT Trent Brown vs. Falcons OLB Vic Beasley: Brown is a massive second-year player from Florida, who’s 6-foot-5, 365 pounds. He has a size advantage and will receive help from the tight end and running backs against the emerging Beasley. The Falcons are elated with Beasley’s play. He’s tied for the NFL lead with 13.5 sacks. He had three sacks and scored his first career touchdown last week against the Rams and was named the NFC’s defensive player of the week. Beasley leads the league with six forced fumbles.

49ers LB Nick Bellore vs. Falcons RB Devonta Freeman: Bellore has 71 tackles in nine starts this season as the 49ers miss the inside presence of NaVorro Bowman, who’s out after tearing his Achilles tendon against Dallas. Bellore, who played at Central Michigan, is a feisty competitor who started his career with the Jets. Freeman rushed for 6 yards on six carries against the Rams and has only one 100-yard rushing game this season. He’ll look to get loose against the 32nd-ranked rush defense in the league.

4. NFL OFFICIALS: R: Gene Steratore (114); FJ: Mike Weatherford (116); U: Bill Schuster (89); SJ: Bob Waggoner (25); HL: Ed Walker (123); BJ: Dino Paganelli (105); LJ: Gary Arthur (108);  RO: Paul Weidner. Steratore has been an official since 2003.  He was the referee in the controversial Green Bay and Dallas playoff game when Dez Bryant apparent to have a touchdown catch on Jan. 11, 2015. Bryant was deemed not to have control the ball to the ground under what’s become known as the “Calvin Johnson rule.”

5. KAEPERNICK WATCH:  San Francisco quarterback Colin Kaepernick had the biggest win of his career at the Georgia Dome. Kaepernick, now known more for his stand against social and racial injustices, never developed into a proficient passer and appears to be latest running quarterback headed to the NFL’s honorary Vince Young scrap heap. Kaepernick has completed 131 of 239 passes (54.4 percent) for 1,577 yards, 11 touchdowns and three interceptions while going 0-8 as a starter.

The AJC’s D. Orlando Ledbetter and Maria Marino discuss Julio Jones’ status for week 15 and what the Falcons need to tighten up as they battle for a postseason berth.

GAME 13: Falcons 42, Rams 14

REPORT CARD: Falcons handled their business against woeful Rams

GAME 12: Chiefs 29, Falcons 28

5 things we learned from the Falcons’ loss to the Chiefs

Falcons still control their playoff destiny

PHOTOS: Falcons have a bad day at the office

Matt Ryan tormented by Berry’s big interceptions

Beasley becomes a double-digit sacker

GAME 11: Falcons 38, Cardinals 19

5 things we learned from the Falcons’ win over the Cardinals

MARK BRADLEY: The Falcons keep getting better as they go

Julio Jones gets calls this time

Taylor Gabriel continues scoring streak in win over Cardinals

Coleman scores TD in return from injury

Falcons’ offensive line ‘stepped up to the task’

GAME 10: Eagles 24, Falcons 15

5 things we learned from the Falcons’ loss to the Eagles

Ryan, offense slowed down to a crawl

Perkins stalls key drive with costly penalty

Defense gets blown of the line of scrimmage

Keanu Neal can expect fine but Falcons’ biggest issue is injuries (Trufant and Tamme)

Falcons go into bye week wrong way — beat up by Eagles

What Dan Quinn had to say after the loss to the Eagles

What Matt Ryan had to say after the loss to the Eagles

What the Falcons had to say after the loss to the Eagles

PHOTOS: Falcons fall to the Eagles

GAME NINE: Falcons 43, Buccaneers 28

5 things we learned from the Falcons’ rout of the Bucs

GAME EIGHT: Falcons 33, Packers 32
 

GAME SEVEN: Chargers 33, Falcons 30 in OT

5 things we learned from the Falcons loss to the Chargers

Dan Quinn’s gamble with house-money backfires

6 penalties ‘unacceptable’ for Falcons offensive line

Philip Rivers confounds Falcons with short passes: ‘He picked us apart’

Matt Ryan’s late-game interception leads to overtime loss

PHOTOS: Chargers rally to beat Falcons

GAME SIX: Seahawks 26, Falcons 24

5 things we learned from the Falcons loss to the Seahawks

MARK BRADLEY: The Falcons didn’t win, but they made one guy believe (me)

MARK BRADLEY: The Falcons got jobbed but did themselves proud

Matt Ryan’s turnovers were costly

What Dan Quinn had to say after the 26-24 loss to Seattle

Seattle slows down Falcons’ running backs Freeman, Coleman

Ryan Schraeder, offensive line rebounds in second half

Julio Jones: ‘It was just a missed call’

What the Falcons had to say after the 26-24 loss to Seattle

What Matt Ryan had to say after the 26-24 loss to Seattle

Richard Sherman non-commital on pass interference non-call

PHOTOS: Falcons at Seahawks in Seattle

GAME FIVE: Falcons 23, Broncos 16

5 things we learned from the Falcons upset of Super Bowl champs

MARK BRADLEY: The Falcons rock a rookie in the Rockies

What Dan Quinn have to say after the win over Denver

Coleman amassed 163 yards to power the offense

Vic Beasley has breakout game with 3.5 sacks

Kemal Ishmael moved to linebacker, led team in tackles

What the Falcons had to say after the win over the Broncos

Photos: Falcons battle the Broncos

GAME FOUR: Falcons 48, Panthers 33

5 things we learned from the Falcons’ 48-33 win over the Panthers

Tweetcap: Falcons 48, Panthers 33

Old pro Freeney shows new trick with Falcons

Falcons’ rookie Neal holds on vs. Olsen

What Julio Jones had to say after the 48-33 win over the Panthers

What Dan Quinn had to say after the 48-33 win over the Panthers

What Matt Ryan had to say after the 48-33 win over the Panthers

Alford battled; Collins to return

Early view in NFC South isn’t what most expected; Falcons on top

GAME THREE: Falcons 45, Saints 32

5 things we learned from the Falcons’ 45-32 win over the Saints

Falcons, Saints protest with unity circle before game

REPORT CARD: Falcons earned high marks for drubbing Saints

What Dan Quinn had to say after the 45-32 win over the Saints

What Matt Ryan had to say after the 45-32 win over the Saints

What the Falcons had to say after the 45-32 win over the Saints

Keanu Neal makes strong debut for Falcons

Falcons’ Deion Jones runs for glory, not survival, in return home

AJC POWER RANKINGS: Falcons best in NFC South?

GAME TWO: Falcons 35, Raiders 28

5 things we learned from the Falcons’ win over the Raiders

Trufant’s heads-up play saves the day

Tight ends help to power offense

Weatherspoon plays strong in first start since 2013

Matthews, Schraeder held Mack sack-less

JEFF SCHULTZ: Falcons put on offensive show and win

What Matt Ryan had to say after beating the Raiders

What Dan Quinn had to say after the win over the Raiders

GAME ONE: Buccaneers 31, Falcons 24

5 things we learned from the Falcons’ loss to the Bucs

No sacks for new-look Falcons pass rush

Julio Jones not worried about his ankle injury

Falcons have a case of the “no-huddle” blues

REPORT CARD: Falcons can’t ‘gift’ opponents 17 points

FILM REVIEW: Beasley missing in action

AJC’S NFL POWER RANKINGS: Where are the Falcons?

Hageman charged is domestic violence case

 


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