Atlanta Falcons: Key plays that factored in loss to San Francisco 49ers


The Atlanta Falcons lost to the San Francisco 49ers 17-16 in their most recent contest. Most analysts suggested that the Falcons would roll over the 49ers but this was not the case at all. The 49ers looked like the better team for most of the game. Let’s examine the key plays that led to yet another Falcons loss.

Roughing the passer call

Falcons linebacker Philip Wheeler went barreling through the middle of the 49ers offensive line and put a bone-jarring hit on their quarterback Blaine Gabbert. The officials threw a flag for roughing the passer which gave the 49ers a first down instead of third-and-long. 

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The replay showed that it was a terrible call by the referees as it was a clean hit by Wheeler. The 49ers did not come up with any points on the drive however the Falcons would have gotten much better field position without the additional 15 yards tacked on by the penalty.

Dan Quinn’s challenge

Coach Dan Quinn decided to challenge the spot of the ball after the referees awarded the 49ers a first down on a fourth-and-1 call. The officials decided to stick with the call on the field and gave the 49ers a first down. The Falcons were charged with a timeout so with the clock was ticking at the end of the game they were only able to stop the clock twice because they lost their third timeout due to the challenge.

Decision to kick field goal

With three minutes to go in the game the Falcons drove the ball all the way down to the 2-yard line and faced a fourth-and-goal with three minutes remaining. Coach Quinn decided to kick a field goal to get the Falcons within one instead of going for the go ahead touchdown. He gambled that the defense would get the ball back however that never happened. The 49ers were able to run out the clock without the Falcons getting the ball back.

Those three plays greatly contributed to the Falcons losing to the 49ers on Sunday. Hopefully they can regroup with a much needed bye week on the horizon.