Surely schedule makers figured Week 16's Monday Night Football would be matchup to determine some balance of power in NFC. Sadly, that's not the case as the Atlanta Falcons have been hampered with injuries and played underwhelmingly all season long. The 49ers are, however, playing very good football at the moment and will look to keep that momentum going as 14-point home faves.
In order to get an inside look into this matchup, we’ve enlisted the help of those who know these teams the best. Expert NFL bloggers David Fucillo of San Francisco blog “Niners Nation
” and Dave Choate from Atlanta blog “The Falcoholic
” strap on the pads and debate which team will not only win, but cover the spread Monday night.WHY ATLANTA WILL COVERDave Choate is the editor-in-chief at The Falcoholic. You can follow them on Facebook and Twitter @TheFalcoholic.Being competitive
The Falcons have been more competitive of late. Getting back a healthy Roddy White and shuffling the offensive line has kept them in games, and while this isn't likely to be a close game, the Falcons should do enough to be competitive.Underrated secondary
The secondary may be underrated. Safety play has been a mixed bag for these Falcons, but young cornerbacks Desmond Trufant, Robert Alford and Robert McClain have done some nice work, even if the volume passing numbers don't reflect that. The 49ers don't have a ton after Michael Crabtree and Vernon Davis, so the Falcons should be able to slow down the 49ers through the air.Keeping it close
The Falcons have been adept at playing close games in recent years, for better or worse. With a passing attack capable of big plays and an opportunistic defense, they should be able to cover despite the long odds against them.WHY SAN FRANCISCO WILL COVERDavid Fucillo is an editor for Niners Nation. You can follow them on Facebook and Twitter @NinersNation.King Crab
The 49ers cover this sizable spread because they are putting everything together on offense. Michael Crabtree is back from his Achilles injury and is starting to look like the Crabtree of 2012. He is making the cuts and moves that made him one of the league's most dangerous receivers. This is important because it gives Colin Kaepernick his biggest weapon from a year ago. Since Crabtree's return, Kap has looked more confident in every aspect of his game. It's probably not entirely because of Crabtree, but he's a pretty big reason for it.
Defense, defense, defense
The defense is healthy and playing as well as it has all season long. The pass rush is added new wrinkles with NaVorro Bowman coming up the middle, and free safety Eric Reid has replaced Dashon Goldson with relative ease. the 49ers defense has not given up 100 yards rushing to an opposing back all season, which opens the door for the defense to tee off on opposing quarterbacks.A fond farewell
It's the final game at Candlestick Park. The stadium will be electric. It's the night before Christmas Eve, so everybody has the day off. It should be a three hour party, and I think this will have the team fired up. It's not measurable, but there's something about this that seems to bode well for a potential blowout.