Look ahead: 49ers are not Road Warriors

Falcons wide receiver Roddy White had a career-high 210 yards receiving and two touchdowns against San Francisco last season. Paul Sakuma, AP

Falcons wide receiver Roddy White had a career-high 210 yards receiving and two touchdowns against San Francisco last season. Paul Sakuma, AP

FLOWERY BRANCH – Falcons coach Mike Smith did his best Lou Holtz impersonation during Monday’s press conference.

When it was over, you were convinced that Smith had a healthy respect for the 0-3 San Francisco 49ers.

He wasn’t all over the top with it, but he noted that when the Falcons beatdown the 49ers last season that running back Frank Gore didn’t play, wide receiver Michael Crabtree didn’t play and the since-departed Shaun Hill was the quarterback.

While Gore, Crabtree and quarterback Alex Smith don’t exactly make you think of Roger Craig, Jerry Rice and Joe Montana, they are upgrades.

“Last year’s game in San Francisco will have no bearing on the outcome of the game this week,” Smith said. “It will have no bearing whatsoever. They’re a completely different football team.”

The 49ers were predicted to win the NFC West, but have struggled early this season. Head coach Mike Singletary fired offensive coordinator Jimmy Raye on Monday. Former Falcons assistant coach Mike Johnson will call the plays.

Here’s a quick look at the 49ers:

Record: 0-3, with losses to Seattle, New Orleans and Kansas City.

Falcons running back Michael Turner scores a touchdown in front of 49ers safety Curtis Taylor in the second quarter.  Paul Sakuma, AP

Falcons running back Michael Turner scores a touchdown in front of 49ers safety Curtis Taylor in the second quarter of last season's game. Paul Sakuma, AP

Last time played: Wide receiver Roddy White caught eight passes for a franchise-record 210 yards and two touchdowns, including a 90-yarder, a career-long catch. He broke Terance Mathis’ team record of 198 receiving yards, set on Dec. 13, 1998, against New Orleans.  Here’s the game story from last year.

San Francisco on offense: They have weapons in Gore, Crabtree and tight end Vernon Davis, but things have not clicked for them this season. They did play the Saints close, but had four turnovers. The Chiefs took away their running attack, Davis and then sacked Smith five times. They are 31st in the league in points scored at 12.7.

San Francisco on defense: The defense is led by middle linebacker Patrick Willis, but they have not stopped the run. Last week, Jamaal Charles rushed for 97 yards on 12 carries and Thomas Jones had 19 carries for 95 yards. Singletary has denied reports that he is going to bench linebacker Takeo Spikes and safety Michael Lewis.

San Francisco on special teams: Joe Nedney is the kicker. Andy Lee is the punter.  Nedney made a 51-yard field goal last week against Kansas City, which gave him a franchise-record nine successful field goals of 50 yards or more. Kyle Williams had three kick returns for 65 yards against Kansas City, but he had a fumble. He replaced Phillip Adams, who had a fumble against the Saints.

What you should know: The 49ers are not Road Warriors under Singletary. They are 4-11 on the road under the former Chicago Bear great, losers in eight of the past nine away games, with no road victories outside the NFC West since they won in Buffalo on Nov. 30, 2008

Former Falcons assistants Mike Johnson was "promoted" to offensive coordinator this week.

Former Falcons assistant Mike Johnson was "promoted" to offensive coordinator this week.

What you might not know: Johnson, 43, is a former backup quarterback with Arizona State, who’s spent 10 seasons as an NFL assistant with the Chargers, Falcons, Ravens and 49ers as either a receivers or quarterbacks coach. The Los Angeles native coached with the Falcons from 2002 to 2005.

Coach: Mike Singletary, who was a candidate to be the Falcons head coach before Bobby Petrino was hired, is in his fourth year with the 49ers.

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156 comments Add your comment

Sid

September 28th, 2010
9:47 am

Atlanta 24 SF 10

Eric C.

September 28th, 2010
9:48 am

Go Falcons!!!

Eric C.

September 28th, 2010
9:51 am

This game scares me just because the 49ers are in desperation mode and the Falcons are trying to avoild a let-down

Sid

September 28th, 2010
9:53 am

Eric, I had the same thoughts but I think our coaching staff has a handle on that…………..

D. Orlando Ledbetter

September 28th, 2010
9:55 am

Payback game from the old NFC West days? Roles are reversed.

truth

September 28th, 2010
9:56 am

This game excites me. The 9ers are in a state of confusion and the Falcons are ready to guide them alittle farther into that state. Coach knows not to look past ANY team. He knows they must play as hard this week (well even more harder) than last week.

truth

September 28th, 2010
9:59 am

GO FALCONS!!!!

Oregon Falcon

September 28th, 2010
10:01 am

I predict the Falcons score around 40 points again and hold the 49ers under 17. There will be no let-down with this Falcons team, they are hungry and seriously want to win some football games.

What I believe about the Atlanta Falcons is they are greatly coached team, and the type of mindset the organization insists upon is working, therefore they will not become complacent.

The drafting scheme, designed by Thomas Dimitroff is working. We have some holes in our skill positions and both lines, but they work as a team, they work hard and they play to their strengths.

The last three years have been a joy to watch, and I have learned so much about the administrative and coaching aspects of the game by observing how Dimitroff and Smith have built this team.

We crush the 49ers.

Arthur Blank initiated a study of successful organizations and Pittsburgh was a model of consistency and I believe Dimitroff copies Indianapolis’ drafting style. It is working.

Great athleticism with cerebral concepts, I love this game of football especially since our Falcons have finally figured out how to build a successful franchise.

I have watched them since 1969, and I am having a great time.

Khao$

September 28th, 2010
10:01 am

This is a DANGEROUS game…we’d better be on our P’s and Q’s.

DTYBRDZ

September 28th, 2010
10:03 am

Atl Stomp on Sunday!!! Our defense is going to get some turnovers. Willis is a beast but he’s one man…

Chop Buster

September 28th, 2010
10:12 am

Because there is a change in OC and the Falcons have no idea what the 49ers will do offensively, this should give us fans a look into how well our coaching staff make in-game adjustments to what the opponent is doing. Additionally, I want to see the Special Teams and defensive issues improved this week. Number one is stop the run and make the Niners one dimensional.

Sid

September 28th, 2010
10:12 am

New Orleans LB Scott Shanle said Monday “For us, we know we didn’t play well. It would be one thing if we thought we played outstanding and still lost the game. We still feel like we are still the team to beat.”

That doesn’t sound like what champions say does it? Frankly, except for the kicker, I think they brought their A game.

………………………………..Rest in Peace George Blanda……………………………………..

mountain_jim

September 28th, 2010
10:12 am

If the players had suffered thru all those old-time SF beatdowns like us older fans have, they would stomp this team just for history’s payback-sake.

Sid

September 28th, 2010
10:14 am

Chop Buster……………you are right, the sweet taste of victory has caused me to overlook our serious deficiency on special teams………..certainly SF is looking to see if they can capitalize on that.

Marcus

September 28th, 2010
10:19 am

DOL,
I think this season will be big payback for the ol’ NFC West days. We already nipped the Saints, just for old times sake. Now if we can whoop the 49ers and Rams to get some comeuppance for Scott Case and Charles Dimry, we’ll be good :)

Sid

September 28th, 2010
10:21 am

on offense………………

SF 31st in points, 20th in yards, 13th in passing yards, 27th in rushing yards
Atl 6th in points, 6th in yards, 16th in passing yards, 2nd in rushing yards

Authur Blank

September 28th, 2010
10:22 am

Im not talking about the Saints no more only thing I can speak upon is the 49ers

Sid

September 28th, 2010
10:24 am

on defense

SF 32nd in points, 17th in yards, 16th in passing yards, 15th in rushing yards
Atl 6th in points, 21st in yards, 22nd in passing yards, 12th in rushing yards

2Legit2quit

September 28th, 2010
10:32 am

Falcons 38- 49ers 10! Does anyone know what happened to Fin last week, I did not see him at all in the game and 83 only had one catch for 1yard and two drops. We need Jenkins back to get some heat off White!

mark

September 28th, 2010
10:33 am

There are no more dangerous games with this team, because they will be focused and ready no matter who their playing. They are physical and play with a level of tenacity that should keep us in every game. Injuries are the only thing that can stop us. They stood toe to toe with a Pittsuburg team that looks like the best defense in the league. We lost but learned about always being aggressive, this team will never back down from a fight or ease up based on the record of another team.

waynester

September 28th, 2010
10:52 am

Mark
I like your attitude and hope you’re right. As Sid demonstrated above, the stats show a SF team that has a pretty good Defense despite points allowed (many of those due to turnovers) and a good passing game. If we continue to be stout against the run(and Gore is better than any of the Saints’ backs) and win the turnover battle this should be a win. It’s hard not to feel confident, knowing our home record under Mike Smith is darn near perfect and we’re 2-0 in our classic 60’s unis!

SWAT Native

September 28th, 2010
10:55 am

This to me has the makings of a trap game. SF may be 0-3, but they really should have beaten the Saints. The Falcons are coming off a big emotional win and could be due for a letdown. I hope that the Falcons players are following Smitty’s lead and not taking the 49er’s lightly.

Blake

September 28th, 2010
11:00 am

Where’s ninerbacker? He said his niners we’re gonna come here and tear us a new one.Then he asked me what I was smoking!I had to remind him his team got trounced 45-10 last year on their turf. “Send In the clowns…don’t bother their here”

Joe Tess Fish House

September 28th, 2010
11:10 am

Trap game for the Falcons. I can see them taking the niners lightly and loosing this one. VanGordons defense might be under peppered for this game.

papadawg

September 28th, 2010
11:11 am

The Falcons cannot afford to look beyond anyone. Great win but it could & really should have been a loss so they are not so good to expect easy games. They loss to Pit you know

dean

September 28th, 2010
11:13 am

The Falcons can play great defense and offense, but if they let KO/Punt returners run wild it can all be for naught.

Good luck Falcons!

McNasty

September 28th, 2010
11:18 am

Congrats D Led on getting the first question @ the coaches news conf. sunday. This shows respect from the falcons for your job. But can you tell me, or any one else, about the Ryan screaming episode on the sideline in overtime? As well as when Gonzo had words with a DB on a low hit.

Joe Tess Fish House

September 28th, 2010
11:19 am

Ryan yelling at his players is uncaled 4. U never seen Vick do that.

truth

September 28th, 2010
11:26 am

Dang……I have yet to see this team LOOK PAST anyone.

Dennis

September 28th, 2010
11:34 am

JTFH – no, all that guy did was flip off the fans.

Dennis

September 28th, 2010
11:35 am

And kill dogs.

2Legit2quit

September 28th, 2010
11:39 am

Dennis, too funny but true!!!
I was a vick fan and I hate dog killers but he has paid his dues to society and just lets move on! There is no comparrison between Matt Ryan and Vick, Vick is fun to watch but will never be the leader Matt is for us. I recall the re-opening of the superdome when the saints put it to us and Vick looked overwhelmed and did not show the emotions you saw last week from Ryan. Go falcons!!!!

allcrimson

September 28th, 2010
11:41 am

“A dirty bird can’t fly with a broken wing.”

No. But he can run like hell!

Falcon Jim

September 28th, 2010
11:49 am

And hide his pot pipe in his water bottle at the airport, and give some woman an STD.

Lesa

September 28th, 2010
12:17 pm

I was glad to see Matty Ice show some fire on the sidelines during the Saints game. You could tell he really wanted to win that game. Sometimes a leader has to light a fire under his teammates. Leadership skills are an important asset for an NFL quarterback. As for the Niners, I think we’ll beat them soundly this weekend. Go Falcons!!!!!

NO1 PICK

September 28th, 2010
12:19 pm

LETS GO RON MEXICO!!!

Ron Mexico

September 28th, 2010
12:22 pm

Come’o bro dat aint koo dis’n me like dat. Know what’m say’n? Look it bro I did my thang down in Mexico gotz my groove on, know what’m say’n. hee hee hee. Thank da herps are bad shud’a seen da girl. Nasty with’a capital…….ahhh…..ahhh…..DA** IT, to much weed! Oh oh……..capital A! Know what’m say’n.

Falcon Jim

September 28th, 2010
12:26 pm

Ron, you write just like you talk. Amazing !

Section 108

September 28th, 2010
12:33 pm

Joe Tess, you are the most pessimistic falcons fan ever. of all time. Or are you really a Falcons Fan, or really a Aints fan in disguise?? Cmon man feel the love – RISE UP!!!!!!

Ron Mexico

September 28th, 2010
12:36 pm

What up Falcon Jim. Mcnabb taught me a few thangs up hera in Philly. But I can seen to git dis gramma down to good. Oh shut I dropped my dope and daze’a gun. Where dat daym dawg go?

Ron Mexico

September 28th, 2010
12:36 pm

Neva mind….here kitty kitty kitty……..

Ron Mexico

September 28th, 2010
12:40 pm

I’m look’n fowad to my homies come’n up hera to Philly. Shud be a good game, dat i if I still be start’n qb. Know what I’m say’n. I have sum real teams come’n up so who knows…….DAYM!!!! Where dat itch come from? Desean you been ware’n my jock strap again…..yo mo fo!!!!

Falcon Jim

September 28th, 2010
12:45 pm

Ron, yu be to much, ma man.

ctfalconsfan

September 28th, 2010
12:49 pm

We can’t let up. Can’t look past San Fran. I hate playing teams without a win as you know they are going to win eventually and you don’t want it to be against you.

They will be hungry so I’m hoping we won’t be taking this game lightly..

Mack

September 28th, 2010
12:53 pm

Great Game!
We have 4 draft picks starting @ QB in the NFL right now and after sundays win I finally believe we have the best one starting for us =)
Farve is really really old
Schuab is injury prone
Vick has no leadership skills

Falcons 34, 9ers 10

yo mama

September 28th, 2010
12:54 pm

Beef

September 28th, 2010
12:54 pm

Falcons: 38
49′ers: 10

Ken Strickland

September 28th, 2010
1:03 pm

TRUTH-I loved your analogy and you attitude. I don’t see the Falcons having a let down. Like you said, they’re in a state of flux, which means they’ll have to deal with chemistry and adjustment issues, both on the field and in their play calling.

The Saints had an all out commitment to stop the run, and we were still able to be effective. Our OL did an excellent job of containing their constant all out blitz, and providing room for our RB’s to run. Our DL put a lot of pressure on Brees. They limited his reads and forced him to get rid of the ball before his WR’s could get open for those long back breaking gains they thrive on.

WHAT ELSE CAN YOU SAY ABOUT TE TGONZALEZ? They tried to stop him by using a CB, LB, SS and double team, and he beat them all. When they started fixating on Tony G, RWhite took over and started slicing them up. The only reason our passing OFF isn’t as prolific as the Saints is because we’re a run first OFF that depends more on the run than the pass, unlike them. And because of run first philosophy and approach, the passing routes and formations we use aren’t as varied or as complex as theirs.

FALCOM JIM-MVick has spent 2yrs in prison, a full yr as a backup QB with the Eagles, and has won 2 straight gms this season after winning the starting QB position. And with all of that, you’re still trying to make an issue on extremely old and irrelevant BS. MVick has certainly gotten past his issues and his past indiscretions, why can’t you?

Come on, the Falcons should be more important to Falcon fans than what MVick did in his past, or is doing at this point.

SID-It’s funny how LB SShanlee can talk about them losing to us because of their mistakes and alleged poor play. But I don’t recall him saying a damned thing last wk about their win over the 49ers being tainted as a result of the 49ers numerous mistakes and poor play. From the start of last season straight through the Super Bowl, including the first 2gms of this season, these fools have come to think they’ve somehow played poorly if they don’t get all of the breaks and luck they’ve needed during that stretch to win gms.

Without that ball hitting TDeCoud’s foot, one of their scores would have been eliminated, and we might have added an additional score, which means Sunday’s gm wouldn’t have been that close.

HAS ANYONE NOTICED HOW OUR RESIDENT AINT FANS ARE NO LONGER DOMINATING OUR BLOGS WITH THEIR SPECIAL BRAND OF BS, OR BEING AMONG THE 1ST TO POST EACH DAY. I GUESS THEY’VE FINALLY DISCOVERED THAT WHAT THEY DID LAST YR, INCLUDING WINNING THE SUPER BOWL, DOESN’T HELP ONE DOGGONE BIT TOWARDS WINNING GMS THE FOLLOWING SEASON.

drmondo

September 28th, 2010
1:06 pm

D. Orlando Ledbetter Payback game from the old NFC West days? Roles are reversed

Marcus DOL,
I think this season will be big payback for the ol’ NFC West days. We already nipped the Saints, just for old times sake. Now if we can whoop the 49ers and Rams to get some comeuppance for Scott Case and Charles Dimry, we’ll be good
————————————————————————————————————————————————-
Amen to that!! I’d love to see a string of 42-7 Falcons wins to make up for the ’80s and ’90s. Marcus, anyone who remembers Scott Case is ok in my book. Even when the team was horrible I could count on #25 making the highlight films for a few big hits, ints, etc.

Go Falcons!!! Great game against NO!! Now keep up the pressure and own the NFC South!!

The U

September 28th, 2010
1:06 pm

MV7is the media darling of the NFL, the comeback kid,everyone on the bandwagon and it’s tipping over. You ron mexico and falcon jim must watch the tranformation you never dreamed possible. Hey, there’s still room on the bandwagon.