The 49ers outclass the Falcons, their Week 6 opponent, but a few things could easily go Atlanta’s way and result in a Niners loss.
On paper, the San Francisco 49ers should have little trouble dispatching their Week 6 opponent, the 2-3 Atlanta Falcons.
But games aren’t won on paper, of course.
Atlanta’s record is telling. Earlier during the offseason, it wasn’t hard to view the Falcons as having one of the league’s worst rosters, yet the fact they’re a game below the .500 mark and have a point differential of just minus-4 suggests head coach Arthur Smith has his squad playing well above expectations.
Simply put, Week 6 might not be the pushover game the Niners enjoyed last week against the Carolina Panthers.
Aside from the cliche “any given Sunday” kind of arguments, what are some factors and X-factors that could ultimately contribute to San Francisco losing on Sunday?
Let’s look at four.
49ers vs. Falcons X-factor No. 4: Tyler Allgeier makes a statement
If dual-purpose running back Cordarrelle Patterson wasn’t on injured reserve, the 49ers would be facing a similar threat like All-Pro wide receiver Deebo Samuel, someone who can impact both the ground and aerial games.
But Patterson isn’t available, meaning No. 2 Falcons running back Tyler Allgeier will be getting the start.
Atlanta wants to run the football in order to save its own suspect defense and to wear down a potent defense in that of the Niners. So far this season, the Falcons are doing a good job of moving the ball this way, averaging 5.1 yards per carry and ranking fourth best in the league with 823 rush yards.
Allgeier is certainly an X-factor, though. In his supplementary and fill-in roles for Patterson, the 22-year-old Allgeier is averaging 4.7 yards per carry and has a total of 184 yards on the season.
Yet to find the end zone in 2022, it’s likely Atlanta will want to see a strong game from him, yet San Francisco will want to negate the X-factor by relying on its top-billed run defense that’s surrendering only 3 yards per rush this season.