Long ago, there was a rivalry between the Atlanta Falcons and San Francisco 49ers. This was before the 2000s and in the old NFC West (yes, we were classified as a “western” team). We were basically the whipping boys of Joe Montana and Steve Young. Which, when you think about it, made the occasion of a win over them all the more special. We may not have hated them as much as the Saints, but they were a pretty hated rival.
During the NFL expansion of the 1990s and early 2000s, somebody in the league figured out that the East Coast is not, in fact, western. We, along with the Saints, Panthers, and Buccaneers, were moved to the newly created NFC South, while the 9ers have made new rivals in the Cardinals, Seahawks, and Rams.
But no one can change the past. This was a rivalry and as far as I’m concerned, it carries on whenever there is a meeting between these teams. It doesn’t hurt that San Fracisco won a Super Bowl appearance over us in a squeaker some years ago. A similar heartbreaker happened a year ago as part of our 6-game losing streak in which our offense, overwhelmed by the West Coast offense’s newness and difficulty to learn, made an awful defense look pretty good.
But although we have lost three straight to this team, there’s little reason to believe that it’ll happen this time. Let’s face it. We were playing bad football back then. Now we’re not. Our main struggles last year were ball security and red zone production. Both are very impressive this year.
By contrast, the 9ers look like the second worst team in the league (worst would be the “we still have LeBron team”). Basically, everything about the 49ers is awful! Colin Kaepernick is an awful quarterback, he’s unprotected, secondary is awful, run defense is a joke, and to cap it all off, Chip Kelly’s college offense has demonstrated that it was a short-term wonder. Even during it’s early success, it had a bad record against winning teams. Running back Carlos Hyde and kicker Phil Dawson are good players, I guess.
Anyway, I think we win this game and handily. It could be even more one-sided than last week’s 42-14 wipeout in which the offensive starters got the 4th quarter off. I don’t care if Julio Jones doesn’t play. If Taylor Gabriel and Nick Williams can burn LA, what do you think they’ll do to San Fran’s far worse “D.” not that our run game isn’t likely to be able to get yards against them as well, They’ve given up 2200+ yards in 13 games.
So yeah, the old rivalry aside, this is pretty anticlimactic. RISE UP!!!