December 23, 2013; San Francisco, CA, USA; San Francisco 49ers inside linebacker NaVorro Bowman (53) runs the ball for a touchdown after an interception during the fourth quarter in the final regular season game against the Atlanta Falcons at Candlestick Park. The 49ers defeated the Falcons 34-24. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports
Once again, the Falcons get us excited only to rip our hearts out in the final moment of play. Matt Ryan and company marched down the field, in prime position to steal a win in the final regular season game in the history of Candlestick Park. But alas, Sir NaVorro Bowman came to save the day for the Niners Empire.
Matt Ryan looked great. Aside from his deceivingly bad interception numbers, he played one of his better games this season. Ryan went 37/48 for 348 yards, 2 TDs, and 2 INTs. His first interception came during the biggest moment of the game, as he hit Harry Douglas on a slant that was tipped, and then intercepted by Bowman on a freak play. It wasn’t Matt’s fault, nor Harry’s. Just imagine that play against the Packers when Spoon returned Worrilow’s foot-tip for a pick-six. Yeah, that kind of freak play.
Roddy White just blew up. With 12 receptions, 141 yards, and a touchdown, Roddy had his best game of the season. It finally seems like Roddy is back to 100%, and ready to reestablish himself as a top-10 wideout next year.
UDFA Rookie Joplo Bartu was all over the field, and recorded 11 tackles. Filling in for the injured Sean Weatherspoon, Steven Nicholas also had 11 tackles.
The offensive line far exceeded expectations against a Niners defense that is known to disrupt and apply pressure. Ryan stayed clean for the most part, and really carved up the opposing team. This just shows that when Matt has more than 1.2 seconds to deliver the ball, he can pick apart any defense, no matter how good they supposedly are. The front office WILL invest in the front line, even if the first draft pick isn’t an offensive lineman. Don’t worry Falcons fans, a truly dominant offense will come in 2014.
The defensive line applied pressure early, and seemed to get into Kaepernick’s head in the first half. That was until Corey Peters went down with an Achilles injury. This just shows that the pass rush can get going, but Peters is a key cog in that happening. Hopefully Atlanta decides to bring him back, and give him a little help by picking up a top notch defensive end in this year’s draft. *Fingers crossed*
As I stated above, Corey Peters went down with an Achilles injury. This is indeed season-ending, and is always a long recovery process. Brent Grimes suffered an Achilles injury early last season, which was a part as to why the team let him go. You never know how a player will perform after a major injury, but Corey Peters has had his best season as a pro, and deserves to be brought back. Hopefully the injury scares other teams off, because I’d hate to see him go elsewhere.
Strangely, this week there were actually more goods than bads. It was a game we should have won, but losing it will do nothing but help us in terms of draft position. Now hopefully the Browns, Raiders, Jaguars, and Bucs all win this weekend, and we may see a complete game-changer in red and black next season. I hope everyone is having a happy holiday, and as always… RISE UP.