San Francisco 49ers Stellar Defense Helps Defeat Atlanta Falcons 17-16
knbr.com

Santa Clara, CA -- Blaine Gabbert completes 15 of 25 passess with 2 touchdowns to push the 49ers past the Falcons, 17-16.

It wasn't the most beautiful game by Gabbert, but he broke a 9-quarter streak of not having a touchdown today. Both touchdowns went to Garrett Celek.

The Falcons started the scoring in the first quarter with a field goal, but Blain Gabbert would come back with a touchdown to Garrett Celek, his first of two. Most of the scoring was in the second quarter, as the Falcons touchdown came off a pass from Ryan to Devonta Freeman. The 49ers led 17-10 at halftime in a very surprising game. In fact, through three quarters, Freeman only had 4 rushing yards.

The defense was the real winner for the 49ers, as they held star running back Devonta Freeman to just 12 yards rushing on 12 carries. Their pass defense wasn't the best, but they held out the Falcons' dynamic offense out of the end zone. Matt Ryan completed 30 of 45 passes for 303 yard and a touchdown. His favorite target Julio Jones totaled 10 catches for 137 yards.

In all honesty, this game was supposed to be a blowout. The 49ers weren't supposed to be close in this game, let alone win it. Although Gabbert looked good in the preseason, nobody expected him to leave Levi's stadium with a win under his belt, yet he did. This isn't an article coping for Gabbert to be the next franchise guy for San Francisco, but it does show one thing: Colin Kaepernick is likely done in San Fran.

The 49ers can release Kaepernick prior to April 1st to avoid his huge sums of money contract, and now that they know Gabbert might not play like complete trash, they'll likely ride him out the rest of the year.

Running back Shaun Draughn stepped in for Carlos Hyde, and carroed the ball 16 times for 58 yards. He did have a long run of 30, and showed at least a resectable running game. New addition Pierre Thomas added 4 carries for 12 yards, and Gabbert contributed 32 yards.

The 49ers out-gained the Falcons 318-302 in total yards, 133-17 in rushing yards, bu did contribute 2 turnovers.

The 49ers now stand at 3-6, and while there are no big goals for this year, it's a nice sign and the team and its fans will take a win when they can get it.

NaVarro Bowman led the 49ers defense with 6 tackles and a sack.

The Falcons are now on the border of the playoff picture. They sit in second in their division, and hold a lead for the wild card over the Rams, Seahawks, and Saints. The 49ers are nowhere near the playoff picture but improve to 3-6 and sit at 13 out of 16 in the NFC standings.

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