Week 16 comes to a close on Monday night when the Atlanta Falcons travel west to take on the San Francisco 49ers. This game is a must-win for the 49ers as the NFC West just got a little closer. The Falcons could use a morale booster heading into the offseason. What looked like a good game in the preseason has turned into a big mismatch between former NFC Championship opponents.
Here is my preview and expectations for the final Monday night game.
The Falcons are not the same team they were one year ago. Julio Jones is out, Roddy White wasn’t 100 percent all season. Steven Jackson had little to no blocking. However, the biggest disappointment has been Matt Ryan. He has an interception and fumble in the last two games. Tony Gonzalez was limited in practice all week, for the fourth-straight week. He is officially listed as questionable. If he misses this game, Ryan will have a harder time accumulating yards against the 49ers.
Things won’t get better for Ryan as the 49ers defense have allowed four touchdowns and have 14 sacks in the last four games. The 49ers are also the fourth-best defense against opposing wide receivers. Unless you are in a deep 16-team league, I would avoid starting any and all Falcons players.
San Franciso 49ers
Colin Kaepernick threw for 200-plus yards in two of his first 10 games this season. He now has thrown for 200-plus in three of his last four. With a healthy group of wide receivers, Kaepernick has been playing his best football in 2013. He and his teammates will have big games on Monday night. The Falcons allow 18.1, 18.3 and 22.4 Fantasy points to opposing quarterbacks, running backs and wide receivers this season, respectively.
Vernon Davis has been the most reliable player for Kaepernick, scoring in five straight games. He should extend that streak on Monday night. Michael Crabtree is quickly getting back to form with five receptions for 45 yards and a score last week. He will have another double-digit game and help the 49ers continue their run to the playoffs.