Falcons Three-and-Out: Week 15 vs. 49ers
The Atlanta Falcons defeated the San Francisco 49ers on Sunday, 41-13, improving their record to 9-5 for the season.
1. Falcons Offense Displays Balance
The Atlanta offense has been dominant for much of the 2016 season, averaging 33 points a game. The one inconsistency they had on offense was their running game, which only managed 66 yards against the Los Angeles Rams one week ago.
That wasn't the case against the 49ers, as the Falcons ground game dominated with 248 yards rushing. The bottom line is if the Falcons run game stays consistent to supplement their dangerous passing offense, they can put up a lot of points against any defense in the league.
2. Defense is Making Strides
The Falcons defense has been steadily improving throughout the second half of the season. Opponents' talent level aside, the unit's communication has vastly improved and they have done a better job of preventing explosive plays.
They took another step forward Sunday and held the 49ers offense to 272 total yards. The key for the defense is to hold the opponents offense in check in the red zone and create one or two additional possessions for their offense via takeaways.
3. Playoff Picture
The Falcons maintain their hold on first place in the NFC South with the win on Sunday, regardless of whether the Tampa Bay Buccaneers can defeat the Dallas Cowboys, due to a common opponents tiebreaker. If the Falcons win out this season, they will win the NFC South.
Their remaining two games are against the New Orleans Saints at home and on the road against the Carolina Panthers on Christmas Eve. The Bucs losing Sunday Night to the NFC-best Cowboys would only strengthen the Falcons' chances of locking up the division.
Josh Schultz is a staff writer for Pro Football Spot's Atlanta Falcons Coverage. Follow Josh on twitter @draftblackboard and on his Facebook page: Josh Schultz, Pro Football Spot.