Coming into their Week 6 matchup, the Falcons and 49ers were dealing with a myriad of injuries. San Fran had been one of the most unlucky teams in the league when it comes to injuries. Nick Bosa, Arik Armstead, Trent Williams, and others were all either out or dealing with injuries during the game. Atlanta, on the other hand, has been without Cordarrelle Patterson for a couple of weeks. Ade Ogundeji and Mykal Walker also missed Sunday’s game.
Injuries aside, the Falcons looked dominant over the Niners. In all three phases, Atlanta looked like the superior team, and Marcus Mariota had by far his best game as a Falcon. He threw a pair of touchdown passes and ran for another score against the NFL’s top-ranked defense, leading the Falcons to a 28-14 victory over the 49ers.
The defense had multiple takeaways, including a forced fumble from Rashaan Evans that was returned to the endzone by AJ Terrell as Jaylinn Hawkins recovered it for a touchdown. Isaiah Oliver notched an interception late in the second quarter in his return for the Falcons, and Darren Hall had a pass breakup that was intercepted by Hawkins too.
The Falcons’ special teams had a couple of blunders against the 49ers’ return team, but Avery Williams is quickly establishing himself as one of the better returners in football. It was by far the most complete game the Falcons have played in Arthur Smith’s tenure and maybe even a few years before he took over in Atlanta.
However, the win didn’t come without a cost. Multiple Falcons starters went down with injuries. Ta’Quon Graham exited with a knee injury but did end up returning. I’d expect him to be questionable all week long as the Falcons prepare for the Bengals.
Starting cornerback duo A.J. Terrell and Casey Hayward both went down with injuries. Terrell went down in the second half with a thigh injury and never returned. It seemed he injured his hamstring, but I can’t be sure. Hopefully, keeping Terrell out was precautionary, which is what it appeared via postgame comments. Hayward hobbled off late in the game with a shoulder injury, and it looked serious. Isaiah Oliver was also shaken up in the second half.
I wouldn’t be surprised to see a lengthy injury report this week as the Falcons travel to Cinniciannti. Thankfully, most of the injuries don’t seem severe, so I wouldn’t expect Atlanta to be too shorthanded in Week 7.
Photographer: David John Griffin/Icon Sportswire