Atlanta Falcons Week 9 picks: Predicting each NFC South game

5 of 8

Dec 23, 2013; San Francisco, CA, USA; San Francisco 49ers receiver Michael Crabtree (15) is pursued by Atlanta Falcons cornerback Robert Alford (23) and safety William Moore (25) at Candlestick Park. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Curtis Hobbs

Atlanta Falcons (6-2) at San Francisco 49ers (2-6)

Atlanta may not be worst team in the NFL but, after setting the world on fire at the onset, they have disappointed as of late. Maybe a slap in the face by the 49ers is exactly what the Falcons need to right the ship that looked unstoppable a little over a month ago, and against a team that is hoping for a mulligan like the 49ers are, the Falcons have the opportunity for a rebound.

Every columnist says it every week that this is the “most important week of the year” for the Falcons, but, in reality, it is. If they can muster a cross-country win against the 49ers that are looking lost right now, this will serve as the statement win that saves the season for the Falcons.

If they fail to capitalize on this opportunity, this will be even more indication that Atlanta is further than first thought in revitalizing the franchise.

Expect to see Devonta Freeman to all but guarantee a MVP mentioning in this one, and Justin Hardy will become even more of a threat in the slot for Atlanta as they will rebound nicely against a franchise without a leader in the 49ers who’s best player will, more than likely, be their kicker.

Pick: Atlanta 23, San Francisco 15

Green Bay Packers (6-1) at Carolina Panthers (7-0)

When the whistle blows, every eye in the nation should be watching as this is a foretaste of what the playoffs have in store, but, in this one, expect Carolina’s defense to be just enough to get them by the an under-impressive and injury laden Packers. Tough call.

Pick: Carolina 19, Green Bay 13

Tennessee Titans (1-6) at New Orleans Saints (4-4)

The Tennessee Titans are running blindly without their head coach into the Big Easy. And, ask the Giants who wants to cover the Saints? Yeah. Their answer would be nobody. If you have any Saints players on your fantasy team, you will want to add them to your roster, as this is going to get ugly for the Titans.

Pick: New Orleans 41, Tennessee 10

New York Giants (4-4) at Tampa Bay Buccaneers (3-4)

The only hope for Tampa is a reawakening of Doug Martin to control the clock, but he’s as reliable as the clunker in the backyard that is well past its prime.

Pick: New York 31, Tampa Bay 20

Last week: 2-1
Season: 17-8

Next: Alphonso Thomas