If you are a fan of the National Football League (NFL), somebody that loves watching games even if they don’t include your favorite team, you probably think the contest that pits the Atlanta Falcons against the San Francisco 49ers is worth watching.
Then again, a look at their respective records may change your mind. The Atlanta Falcons, a team led by franchise quarterback Matt Ryan, are in second place in the South Division of the National Football Conference (NFC) with a Won-Loss record of 6-2. They are just two games behind the Carolina Panthers, a squad that has won eight games without a loss.
On the other hand, the San Francisco 49ers, a team that plays its games in the West Division of the National Football Conference has won just two of eight games played. This squad is in last place, four full games behind the Arizona Cardinals. The 49ers, call them “team turmoil,” announced that starting quarterback Colin Kaepernick, also known as the team’s franchise signal caller, was being “benched” for poor play.
Until recently, the Falcons had been undefeated and had shown an ability to overcome deficits late in games. This squad, however, has now lost two games in a row. The team from “the city by the bay” has played poorly since the season began. Kaepernick, once the Most Valuable Player (MVP) for the 49ers when that team went to the the Super Bowl a few seasons back, has regressed dramatically.
In truth, Kaepernick’s performances have been so ineffective that he failed to throw touchdown passes in five of the games he started this season. That is a compelling reason why San Francisco has managed to win just two games.
The 49ers clearly have no hope to play in the postseason. First place in their division is already out of reach. And this squad would have to win virtually every remaining game to have any hope of earning a Wild Card and an invitation to the playoffs.
However, the players and the coaching staff are now “playing for jobs.” That often leads to motivation and inspired play. The change in quarterbacks from Kaepernick to Blaine Gabbert may also serve to revitalize a squad that has appeared lifeless at times.
Meanwhile, the Falcons, even when they were winning six games in a row, appeared to be “lucky,” capitalizing on the late mistakes made by opponents and benefiting, at times, from questionable officiating.
The reality for this team from the south is that it has always appeared to be beatable. And now that the Falcons have actually lost two games, any aura of invincibility that this team may have had is shattered.
It doesn’t mean that the home team 49ers will suddenly rise up and beat the visitors. It only means that an upset is definitely possible.
Courtesy of Zimbio.com