With a home playoff game unlikely, the San Francisco 49ers probably are playing their final game at Candlestick Park on Monday night when they host the Atlanta Falcons. And it's a big one - the 49ers can clinch a playoff spot with a win or an Arizona loss. "I get chills just talking about it," 49ers tackle Anthony Davis told the team's website. "It's not the best looking stadium, but there's so much history there. It's an honor to be able to play in it the last year it will be here. I don't take that for granted."
Atlanta has won four straight meetings in the regular season, but the Falcons have fallen precipitously since their 28-24 home loss to the 49ers in last season's NFC Championship and are tied for the third-worst record in the league. "You fight tooth and nail for wins on Sundays, Mondays, Thursdays, whatever the case may be, and they've had some close losses and some games that haven't gone their way," 49ers coach Jim Harbaugh told reporters. "This year, more than any year I've been coaching or in this league, everybody's fighting tooth and nail for these wins and this will be no different Monday night."
TV: 8:40 p.m. ET, ESPN. LINE: San Francisco -13. O/U: 45.
ABOUT THE FALCONS (4-10): Atlanta's season never got off the ground in large part because the running game never got going, but the Falcons have won two of their last three and are trying to salvage something. "Doesn't matter if you're 2-10 or 10-2, when you start that fourth quarter (of the season), we all have the goal and that is to finish strong," coach Mike Smith told reporters. "The teams that are playing for playoff spots, they want to finish strong as well. I don't think it really changes your attitude at all." The passing game has been a bright spot, but 12 of Matt Ryan's 14 interceptions have come on the road.
ABOUT THE 49ERS (10-4): San Francisco again boasts one of the league's top defenses and is coming off a dominant performance in a 33-14 win at Tampa Bay last week. The passing game hasn't had to do too much thanks to the NFL's No. 5 ground game with Frank Gore (1,017 yards, 8 TDs) and quarterback Colin Kaepernick (449 yards, 3 TDs) leading the way. The receiving corps keeps getting stronger, though, with Michael Crabtree and Mario Manningham back from injuries to complement Anquan Boldin and tight end Vernon Davis.
1. The 49ers are 11-0 when Kaepernick starts and has a rating of 100 or better, while the Falcons are 34-2 when Ryan does the same.
2. The Falcons are 6-0 in games played on the West Coast under coach Mike Smith.
3. Atlanta WR Roddy White has caught a pass in a franchise-record 111 consecutive games, while TE Tony Gonzalez has a reception in 209 straight games dating to his time with Kansas City - the second-longest streak in NFL history.
PREDICTION: 49ers 27, Falcons 17