Still, they should have been able to beat the 4-9 Atlanta Falcons.
The Falcons pulled off one of the upsets of the season, knocking off the 49ers. Julio Jones caught a pass at the end zone and barely got over the plane of the end zone with 2 seconds left. Atlanta’s special teams scored a meaningless touchdown on a lateral play on a kickoff to make the final score 29-22. The 49ers fell to 11-3.
NO DOUBT ABOUT THAT ONE!— Atlanta Falcons (@AtlantaFalcons) December 16, 2019
TOUCHDOWN JULIO! pic.twitter.com/JAeuwHL9RE
2 very close calls late in the game
There were two incredibly close calls in the final seconds.
Falcons tight end Austin Hooper seemed to catch a touchdown with 5 seconds left. Hooper caught the pass in the end zone and was being turned as he went down. He had the ball in his fingertips. The ball hit the ground, and the question was whether he controlled it at that point. The ball popped loose and Hooper got it back.
“It’s close,” Fox officiating analyst Dean Blandino said on the broadcast, after saying he thought it should be called incomplete.
It was ruled an incompletion.
Then the Falcons tried Jones. He was just short of the goal line, but Jones leaned back as he was hit and was cradling the ball, which appeared to cross the goal line. He was ruled short on the field but the play was reviewed by the booth in the final two minutes.
The Falcons were given the touchdown.
“They got it right,” Blandino said on the broadcast.
NFC playoff race is wide open
The loss is potentially damaging for the 49ers.
Even though San Francisco was 11-2 before Sunday, it didn’t have the division title wrapped up. Seattle won early on Sunday and the Seahawks are tied again for first place. The division is still likely to come down to a Week 17 showdown in Seattle.
The Packers, Seahawks and 49ers are all 11-3, and the Saints are 11-2. New Orleans plays on Monday night against the Indianapolis Colts. The race for the two NFC byes and the No. 1 seed is still up in the air.
The 49ers got a big win at New Orleans last week. Then they gave that momentum back by losing to the Falcons at home.
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