The 49ers play the Falcons Sunday at the Georgia Dome. In the meantime, I’ll break down the key matchups.
The Falcons’ secondary v. Michael Crabtree
The Falcons play good team defense. They ranked fourth in points allowed (19.2 per game), and they gave up only 14 passing touchdowns in the regular season – the fewest allowed in the NFL. The 49ers’ defense gave up 19 passing touchdowns – tied for seventh fewest.
Crabtree has scored six of the 49ers’ last 12 touchdowns. Clearly, the Falcons will make it their top priority to stop him. But Crabtree lines up all over the formation, and none of the Falcons’ cornerbacks can cover him one-on-one. Not left CB Asante Samuel. Not right CB Dunta Robinson. Not slot CB Robert McClain.
The Falcons most likely will double-cover Crabtree, so the other 49er receivers will get the one-on-one matchups.