San Francisco 49ers Will Stun the High Flying Atlanta Falcons

James BrownSenior Analyst IOctober 1, 2010

The San Francisco 49ers look to get the first win of the season when they take on the Atlanta Falcons. The 49ers are one of the biggest surprises in the NFL this year but not in a good way. The 49ers were expected to compete this year and were even labeled a Super Bowl contender in the preseason.

They have severely disappointed starting the year off with three straight losses, including embarrassing defeats to the Seattle Seahawks and Kansas City Chiefs. Now they have a huge task of trying to get in the win column by beating the Atlanta Falcons on the road. 

BetMania has posted the latest NFL odds, and the 49ers are listed as 6.5 point underdogs.

The 49ers enter this game with new personnel in a key position. After the loss to Kansas City, head coach Mike Singletary fired offensive coordinator Jimmy Raye. Mike Johnson was named the replacement.

A change was needed as the 49ers offense ranked 27th in the NFL in rushing and 20th overall. Although Singletary showed public support for Raye, reports surfaced that the two were not on the same page and struggled with time management. The team consensus indicates they look forward to a change.

“Mike might bring something different to the table with the passing and the running game, and try to mix it up,” tight end Delanie Walker said. “I’m just looking forward to seeing what we’re going to do.”

Johnson plans to change the way they disguise plays, but don’t look for any drastic changes from the 49ers offense.

“You have a certain way we’ve been operating for the last 1½ years and you can’t go in in one week and change the entire playbook,” Johnson said. “There will be some different things, but I don’t think we’ll make a bunch of wholesale changes. We’re going to take the same core plays, the same core concepts and make them look a little different to the opponent and then see if we can have a different result.”

They might be catching the Falcons at a good time.

The Falcons return home off a very big win in overtime against the New Orleans Saints. If the Falcons were ever primed for a letdown, now is the time. The Falcons have played well enough to win but showed some inconsistency. And if not for a missed chip shot field goal they would be 1-2 on the season.

The 49ers are 8-1-2 against the spread (ATS) in their last 11 games as an underdog and 9-3-2 ATS against a team with a winning record.  

The offense will get a new look for the 49ers and that will rejuvenate the play of Alex Smith and Frank Gore. The defense will benefit from an improved effort on offense and the 49ers have a chance of getting their first win of the season.

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Matt Regaw is a B/R Featured Columnist and the founder of, your one-stop shop for sports articles, previews, and predictions. Feel Free to contact Matt at