3 ways 49ers ensure Falcons don’t upset them in Week 15

Tevin Coleman #26 of the San Francisco 49ers (Photo by Michael Zagaris/San Francisco 49ers/Getty Images)
Tevin Coleman #26 of the San Francisco 49ers (Photo by Michael Zagaris/San Francisco 49ers/Getty Images) /
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Matt Ryan, Atlanta Falcons
Atlanta Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan (2) looks to pass against the San Francisco 49ers Mandatory Credit: Sergio Estrada-USA TODAY Sports /

Sunday, Dec. 19. 7-6. 4:05 p.m. ET. CBS. 44. 42. 49ers -9. 6-7

The 49ers probably need two more wins in 2021 to reach the playoffs, and beating the Falcons in Week 15 has to be a top priority.

The San Francisco 49ers have four games remaining to both ensure they clinch a playoff berth and to rise as high as they possibly can in the seeding.

After knocking off the Cincinnati Bengals in a thrilling but also nerve-wracking overtime game in Week 14, head coach Kyle Shanahan’s attention now turns to the visiting 6-7 Atlanta Falcons, which is one of two very-winnable games the Niners have remaining on their 2021 regular-season schedule.

At 7-6, San Francisco currently sits in the No. 6 seed in the NFC playoff picture. As noted on a recent edition of the Niner Noise Podcast, nine wins is probably enough to ensure the 49ers a Wild Card spot.

So, simply enough, it’s a pretty safe measure to assume the Niners should look at their Week 15 home bout against the Falcons not necessarily as a must-win game. But more of a “you better win this game if you know what’s good for you” kind of matchup.

In 2019, quarterback Matt Ryan and the Falcons spoiled what was a late-season push for San Francisco to clinch both the No. 1 seed in the conference and the NFC West, which ultimately happened anyway the final week of the season.

To avoid that kind of pitfall, especially with a playoff berth not quite guaranteed, the 49ers would be wise to ensure they do these three things to bypass any concerns about Week 15 turning into yet another trap-game loss.