Falcons vs. 49ers: TV Info, Spread, Injury Updates, Game Time and More

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Falcons vs. 49ers: TV Info, Spread, Injury Updates, Game Time and More
Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images

The Atlanta Falcons have had one of the most disappointing 2013 seasons in the NFL, but their last two games could be viewed as the equivalent of a playoff run. With two games remaining against seemingly playoff-bound teams, the Falcons have a chance to play the ultimate spoiler.

It all begins on Monday night in what will be the final regular-season game at Candlestick Park for the San Francisco 49ers. The Niners are moving to Santa Clara next season to play in the new Levi's Stadium.

If they don't improve their current playoff position, or if the team were to collapse over the final two weeks of the season and miss the playoffs, this could be the final game at the 55-year-old venue.

San Francisco is currently in second place in the NFC West and locked in a battle with the NFC South's leaders, the Carolina Panthers and New Orleans Saints, for the top wild-card spot. As it stands now, the Niners are the fifth seed, which means they wouldn't get to host a playoff game.

Meanwhile, the 10-5 Arizona Cardinals are trying to catch them to steal a spot in the postseason. The Niners face the Cards in the regular-season finale. If San Francisco drops the ball against the Falcons on Monday night, the stakes and pressure could be high in Arizona in Week 17.

Here's how you can catch the action for this historic and important Week 16 clash. Below the viewing information is an update on the injury situations for both teams and a closer look at the matchup.

 

When: Monday, Dec. 23 at 8:30 p.m. EST

Where: Candlestick Park, San Francisco

TV: ESPN

Live Stream: Watch ESPN

Spread: San Francisco (-13)

 

Injury Updates

Per NFL.com

49ers

Dan Skuta
LB
Limited Participation in Practice
Frank Gore
RB
Full Participation in Practice
Mario Manningham
WR
Did Not Participate In Practice
Michael Crabtree
WR
Full Participation in Practice
Mike Iupati
G
Limited Participation in Practice
Vance McDonald
TE
Limited Participation in Practice
Tarell Brown
CB
Full Participation in Practice
Justin Smith
DT
Full Participation In Practice
Navorro Bowman
LB
Full Participation in Practice
Jonathan Goodwin
C
Full Participation In Practice

 

Falcons

Zeke Motta S Did Not Participate in Practice 
Tony Gonzalez TE Limited Participation in Practice
Thomas DeCoud S Full Participation in Practice
Darius Johnson WR Did Not Participate In Practice
Antone Smith RB Limited Participation in Practice 
Sean Weatherspoon LB Did Not Participate In Practice

 

Analyzing the Matchup

Hitting on All Points

When the Niners are at their best, they are running the ball effectively, stuffing the opposition's run game and winning the turnover battle. In the midst of its current four-game winning streak, San Francisco has done just that.

Led by Frank Gore, San Francisco has run for 509 yards. The run defense has limited the opposition to just 353 yards—125 in the last two wins over the Seattle Seahawks and Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

Throughout the current streak, the Niners are plus-two in turnover differential as well. This is a hot team that will be scary in the postseason.

 

Hopes for an Upset Are Slim

Scott Cunningham/Getty Images

Though the Falcons have played better football the last three weeks—posting a 2-1 record in that span—it is hard to see a scenario where they knock off the Niners on Monday night. 

Despite forcing 11 turnovers in the last three games, Atlanta has still struggled to win. That includes its 27-26 squeaker over the Washington Redskins in Week 15. The Redskins turned the ball over seven times in that game.

While the Falcons defense may be picking up the pace, the offense is declining. Matt Ryan and Co. have seen the team's total yards drop every game since the Week 13 win at the Buffalo Bills.

That's not a good sign heading into San Francisco.

 

Prediction 

Look for the Niners to send the 'Stick out in style. The Falcons offense is struggling and San Francisco figures to be flying around the field with much to play for and an emotional crowd to add to its intensity.

The Niners will win and cover the large 13-point spread.

 

Follow me: Sports...that's what I do.

 

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