49ers navigate ugly first quarter to stay close vs. Falcons
By Peter Panacy
The 49ers got off to a wrong start against the Falcons in Week 6, but Brandon Aiyuk’s two touchdowns helped get the Niners back in the game.
Week 6 couldn’t have gotten off to much worse of a start for the San Francisco 49ers against the Atlanta Falcons.
Atlanta managed to get out to a quick 7-0 lead after engineering a methodical 11-play, 74-yard drive that culminated in a touchdown on its opening possession, which just so happened to be the first first-quarter end-zone score the Niners have allowed this season.
And if that wasn’t bad enough, San Francisco subsequently watched running back Jeff Wilson Jr. fumble on a carry, and the ball was recovered by the Falcons, only to be fumbled and recovered by Atlanta again in the end zone.
Seriously, it was one of the weirder plays seen in recent memory:
Just like that, it was 14-0 Falcons.
However, Atlanta’s defense remains suspect, and the fact quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo and the 49ers offense have found something of a groove in recent weeks, meant the Niners would be able to climb back into the game.
Brandon Aiyuk delivers 2 touchdowns so 49ers can tie things up
Garoppolo enjoyed a nice rapport with wide receiver Brandon Aiyuk in the first half, connecting with him on two touchdowns to get San Francisco its game-tying 14 points.
The 49ers defense, missing six of its starters, managed to rely enough on its depth to slow down Atlanta’s offense after such an ugly start to the game.
And going into the second half, it’ll be likely the Niners offense will still have to carry the defense, though.
Especially considering the injury attrition.
Injuries continue to amass for 49ers vs. Falcons
San Francisco suffered a couple of key scares early in the game.
Already without EDGE Nick Bosa, who was ruled out at kickoff because of a groin injury, the 49ers watched safety Talanoa Hufanga and EDGE Samson Ebukam suffer injuries in the first quarter.
Read More: 49ers vs. Falcons: Week 6 betting lines, injuries and how to watch
Both returned to the field, although Ebukam had to exit and return again later.
Right tackle Mike McGlinchey also had to exit with what appeared to be a lower-leg injury, putting even more strain on an offensive line that’s already without All-Pro left tackle Trent Williams.
McGlinchey was able to return, though. But cornerback Charvarius Ward suffered a groin injury and was ruled as questionable to return.
Now trailing 21-14, the Niners will receive the second-half kickoff and will hope to enjoy a much more productive line in the final two frames.