49ers vs Falcons: Matt Barrows' 5 players to watch
- Opponent: at Atlanta Falcons
- Time: 1:05 p.m.
- Line: Falcons by 13 1/2
- Records: 49ers 1-12, Falcons 8-5
- TV/radio: Ch. 40 (Thom Brennaman, Charles Davis, Chris Spielman), 680, 1320
Three things to watch
KNOCKING MATT RYAN OUT OF RHYTHM
First-round draft pick DeForest Buckner has been getting deserved attention lately, but fellow defensive end Ronald Blair, a fifth-round pick, also has been playing better and seeing his snap count increase. Blair, who enters the game on passing downs, will be instrumental if the 49ers are going to be able to knock Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan out of rhythm.
HOW WILL O-LINE HANDLE NOISY GEORGIA DOME?
For the second consecutive season the 49ers have been forced to use a free agent they signed to play guard as an offensive tackle. Zane Beadles fared much better at left tackle last Sunday against the Jets than Erik Pears did at right tackle last year. Still, he’ll have a tougher test in Atlanta in a loud, domed stadium against a Falcons pass rush built for speed.
WILL GROUND GAME OVERCOME KILGORE’S ABSENCE?
Marcus Martin was consistently a soft spot on the 49ers offensive line a year ago. With center Daniel Kilgore out for the remainder of the season, Martin is back in a starting role. That’s bad news for the 49ers’ running game, especially for the inside draw that coach Chip Kelly says is one of the team’s “bread and butter” plays, but which was inconsistent at best even before Martin re-entered the lineup.
- Out: WR Torrey Smith (concussion)
- Doubtful: T Joe Staley (hamstring)
- Out: DE Adrian Clayborn (knee), CB Jalen Collins (knee), WR Julio Jones (toe), S Robenson Therezie (ankle), WR Nick Williams (concussion)
vs. Los Angeles
vs. Tampa Bay
vs. New Orleans
vs. New England
vs. N.Y. Jets
at Los Angeles