Julio Jones scores late TD as Falcons stun 49ers

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The 49ers got a huge win in New Orleans last weekend, but their return to the top of the NFC playoff picture was a brief one.

Julio Jones caught a pass from Matt Ryan on the goalline on what appeared to be the final play of regulation and was ruled down short of the end zone on the field. Replays showed that the ball broke the plane as he went down to the ground and was therefore ruled to be a touchdown.

The score put the Falcons up 23-22 and the replay review showed two seconds left on the clock. The 49ers tried to lateral their way to a miracle score, but Atlanta wound up scooping up a fumble for a touchdown that made the final score 29-22 in Santa Clara.

It’s a big loss for the 49ers, who are now back into second place in the NFC West with the Seahawks winning earlier in the day. They still clinched a playoff berth as a result of the Rams’ loss to the Cowboys, but that’s likely small balm after losing a game that they led by nine points in the fourth quarter.

The Falcons were able to rally after Kenjon Barner‘s fumble on a punt return helped gift the 49ers a touchdown that put them up 19-10. Jones played a big part in that effort and ended the day with 13 catches for 134 yards and his first two touchdowns since the third week of the regular season.

Atlanta won’t have any more chances to impact the playoff race as they finish with the Jaguars and Buccaneers. That means the biggest thing to watch is whether their improved play down the stretch is enough to keep head coach Dan Quinn from losing his job.

92 responses to “Julio Jones scores late TD as Falcons stun 49ers

  1. Failcons had to score twice on that drive but refs.

    Welcome to the wild card, 49ers fans.

    Welcome to the wild card.

  2. Atlanta came in ready to upset and the Niners looked dazed and confused. Unlike Baltimore or Seattle this wasn’t a game that was supposed to be so close, credit to the Falcons for reminding the Niners what it means to respect your opponent.

    It’s all going to come down to week 17.

    Go Niners

  3. This 49ers team hasn’t won enough yet to learn how to be consistent. If this was next season I’m sure they close this out. Right now they’re doing it on raw talent and flashes of brilliance. Next year they’ll have that, AND strategy.

  4. 11-3. All alone in first place. Can clinch NFC West next week.

    I’m talking Seahawks of course, not the wild card team from Santa Clara.

  5. Too bad the Rams mailed their season in today at Dallas. With their vacation bags eagerly packed now, there’s zero chance they play with any heart against Clara. Seattle could have cheekily taken the division next week.

  6. The Falcons played hard this whole game. They had some big plays taken away from them on some questionable calls. Good for them for pulling off a gutsy victory.

  7. No one was thinking about this game being the upset of the week. This loss may have just cost the Niners the chance to win the division.

  8. Sometimes (often) replay works as it should. It’s so obvious the reviewers have the capacity to get it right. So all this crap they spew surrounding their corruption re the PI reviews is clear to see. They can, they simply refuse to do so for reasons that aren’t entirely clear.

  9. The Niners absolutely deserved this loss. All Ryan did was throw to Jones and Saleh made no adjustments at all. This goes on him. And Jimmy G just throwing it to Kittle and no one else so he could break Ditkas record. That was pitiful. They clinched a playoff spot for the first time since 2013, so that cool, but the division title is now Seattles. Congrats, Seattle. Hopefully we will meet for the third time.

  10. 9ers won’t win again this year. Kittle is amazing but Jimmy G is average at best. I don’t see how they get out of week one of the playoffs

  11. The falcons were never as bad as their record suggested…I’m just glad New Orleans was able to go 1-1 because both of those games could have been losses.

  12. Let’s be honest. The 9ers paid for their injuries in the Ravens game. At full strength, they win today.

  13. Hello? Is this the Dallas/Fort Worth Marriott Hotel & Golf Club at Champions Circle? Yes? OK, I am calling from San Francisco. I need some reservations for early January…

  14. Ive always stuck with my team, and it might come down to week 17 against the Hawks, but we play like garbage in Seattle. Right now, they are better than us. Just how it is. Maybe they’ll make adjustments, but that was terrible.

  15. Meh. Say what you want. Still have 11 wins and there are two weeks to go. The team is a year ahead of schedule. Playing with house money. Good team, tough loss, still clinched the playoffs today.

  16. realitycheckbaby says:
    December 15, 2019 at 7:44 pm
    Boom!

    Niners overrated

    —————————————————

    Didn’t you lose to the Rams last week? It’s any given Sunday clown.

  17. Bob. Just Bob. says:
    December 15, 2019 at 7:48 pm
    Sometimes (often) replay works as it should. It’s so obvious the reviewers have the capacity to get it right. So all this crap they spew surrounding their corruption re the PI reviews is clear to see. They can, they simply refuse to do so for reasons that aren’t entirely clear.
    _________________________________

    OH YEA, the reason is crystal clear, they want the ability to control the outcome of games without any fear of re-play getting in the way so they’re making sure it doesn’t last beyond this season, PERIOD!

  18. Niners got the benefit of two BOGUS roughing the passer penalties to extend drives as well. That handicap didn’t even help!

  19. Despite everything. This is on Robbie Gould missing the extra point. He gave this game away.

    Week 17 vs Seattle most likely will decide the home field in NFC.

  20. 49ers won’t win in new Orleans again. You lost to the falcons at home too now, punks.

  21. I’m a Colts fan so I have no play here , and Colts fans are universally nice to everyone, but 9ers fans are as obnoxious and rude as any fanbase I’ve been around. So I’m glad to see them lose just because of that

  22. TribeOfOne says:
    December 15, 2019 at 7:55 pm
    Meh. Say what you want. Still have 11 wins and there are two weeks to go. The team is a year ahead of schedule. Playing with house money. Good team, tough loss, still clinched the playoffs today.
    ============================================================================================
    Eh…. I dunno about that being a year ahead of schedule. I thought the exact same thing in 2016 but I am so glad to have beat Shanahan because the Falcons would have won the Superbowl if he didn’t have his head up his tail.

  23. It’s the annual “any given Sunday” game. Thought the stupid Bengals were going to pull off a miracle too.

  24. Based on these comments, the “fans” here have little to no knowledge…
    The 9ers are no worse off now than they were yesterday. They still control their own destiny to win both the west AND the 1st seed. If they win out, 9ers will own a better record than the Seahawks and win the west. They will also hold h2h tiebreakers over the Saints and the Packers.
    Had they won today, not only would they still control their own destiny, but they would have STILL had to win week 17 vs the Seahawks, who ALSO control their own destiny. They did before this 49ers loss, and they still do. The playoff picture has not changed. Both teams still control their destiny for both the West and 1st seed.
    Any Seahawks fans pretending they have already won and we are already a WC are showing their ignorance, it comes down to Week 17.

    The 49ers lost no ground today in the grand scheme of things. Whoever wins out, 9ers or Seahawks, takes the 1st seed.

    The current seedings were always going to be temporary until our week 17 showdown.

    9ers fans. Its not all doom and gloom. This could be a needed wake up call.
    Hawks fans. You have won anything yet.

    Why does no one seem to get this!?

  25. Robbie Goulds XP miss had nothing to do with the loss. If he made it, all it would have changed is it would have forced ATL to have to kick their XP to win – obviously it would have put pressure on Koo to make it, and if he didn’t yes, we go to OT, but chances are, he makes it and we still lose by 1 point.

    Again, another fan not understanding the game of football.

  26. All these hawk “fans” were completely MIA last week. How hilarious. Funny enough these were the exact same type of comments before the Rams dog walked em 60 minutes

  27. davedsone says:
    December 15, 2019 at 8:20 pm
    It’s the annual “any given Sunday” game. Thought the stupid Bengals were going to pull off a miracle too.
    _______________________

    When did you think that, at the end of the 1st quarter?

  28. I would rather temporarily lose the #1 seed now and win it back in week 17 than hold it until week #17, act like we have won the superbowl (like Seattle fans are right now not understanding it all comes to wk17) and losing it on the last game of the season.

    We both still control our destiny and at least now, we get to snatch it from our rival rather than potentially “lose” it to them on the final game of the season…mind games!

  29. Here’s to all the 49ers fans who were beating their chests last week acting like they had already won it all –

    it’s a long season

  30. Tough loss today, but the niners still control their own destiny. Win the next two and they are the #1 seed. Simple.

  31. The 49ers lost no ground today in the grand scheme of things. Whoever wins out, 9ers or Seahawks, takes the 1st seed.

    The current seedings were always going to be temporary until our week 17 showdown.

    9ers fans. Its not all doom and gloom. This could be a needed wake up call.
    Hawks fans. You have won anything yet.

    Why does no one seem to get this!?

    4 3 Rate This

    Because the typical sports fans is ignorant

  32. Bob. Just Bob. says:
    December 15, 2019 at 7:51 pm
    Let’s be honest. The 9ers paid for their injuries in the Ravens game. At full strength, they win today.
    =======

    As opposed to the Hawks who were only down 6 defensive starters.

  33. Rams will come to play next week and a 9er loss and a Seattle win over zona at home, locks Seattle in as division champs. No matter what happens in week 17.

    Seattle can also lose vs Zona next week and beat SF in week 17 to take the division. A SF win today would’ve meant Seattle needed to win out.

    This 9er loss is potentially huge, so anyone that thinks “it’s no big deal and nothing changed” needs another look at the facts.

  34. Shehawk fans will get their reality check when they get beat in 2 weeks for the division title. You lost to a subpar Rams team last week and almost coughed it up late today. Gonna be fun to watch.

  35. If this just happened to the Saints they’d have to put New Orleans under curfew, because that cesspool would be burning to the ground right now, and their fanbase would be crying about it until 2035

  36. So let me get this straight.

    When the Niners beat the Saints and all their fans said they’re the #1 seed and the best team ever, they were informed, smart fans.

    But when Hawks fans point out they are now #1 seed, Niner’s fans suddenly figured out it will wait until their final game.

    Of course that assumes the Niners don’t lose to the Rams.

  37. Congrats to the Falcons on the win. Niners have overcome injuries in other games but ran into a team familiar with Shanahan’s offense and kept the score close. These are games S.F. must learn to win if they are to be regarded as a serious championship contender.

  38. ninersolid says:
    December 15, 2019 at 8:47 pm

    Shehawk fans will get their reality check when they get beat in 2 weeks for the division title. You lost to a subpar Rams team last week and almost coughed it up late today. Gonna be fun to watch.
    ______________________________

    Pride b4 the fall. 9ers can EASILY lose to the Rams next Sunday and with a Seattle win over Zona and the week 17 game is meaningless for the 9ers. You just lost to an undermanned Falcon team, so don’t act like the Rams are a gimmee. They’d like nothing more than to knock you to the WC seed. Next week is the Rams SB.

    I don’t think the division will come down to week 17. Seattle captures it in week 16.

    ——————-

  39. atldirtybird1 says:
    December 15, 2019 at 8:18 pm

    Eh…. I dunno about that being a year ahead of schedule. I thought the exact same thing in 2016 but I am so glad to have beat Shanahan because the Falcons would have won the Superbowl if he didn’t have his head up his tail.
    ___________________________

    Why do fans always blame the refs or coaches? I didn’t have a dog in the fight and it sure looked to me like the Falcons offense wasn’t executing very many plays and the D didn’t play nearly as good in the 2nd half, their possessions went 3 & out, scored a TD, 4 & out, a 3 play drive that ended with a fumble(I’m sure that was Shanahan’s fault too) and a 6 & out, then they never got the ball in OT, so I don’t see how it was Shanahan’s fault and not the players who for most of the last 2qts couldn’t even make a first down? All the OC can do is call the plays, it’s the players job to execute those plays and they couldn’t get it done. But thats just from a guy that was watching from a totally neutral place!

  40. Why is it that the 49er fans are so uber confident ???

    Nothing over the past month and a half have led anybody to believe this is a super team.

    The defense is mortal…. especially when they dont play scrub qbs who they beat up on during their 8-0 run….

    As good as the saints win was…. this loss was as bad.

  41. Yea people said I was crazy for saying the Falcons would beat the Niners…lol. Falcons won regardless of the refs making every attempt to give it to SF. ATL scored twice…twice to get the win. It’s a sad day when the NFL alters games for profit…sad as day.

  42. Saints fan here. I can’t believe I”m going to say this but thank you Atlanta. I think our fan base should ease back on the whole 28-3 jokes after tonight. Our team needs to take care of business tomorrow night We are close to getting back that number 1 seed. WHO DAT!!

  43. Why does no one seem to get this!?
    ==========

    We get it. But be a little more tolerant, math is hard.

  44. Seattle almost coughed up a 20 point lead and their kicker missed an extra point. Arizona has owned them in Seattle the last few years so don’t be surprised if the Seahawks graciously gift wrap the division lead right back to Clara in 7 days.

  45. Hawks and Niners both suffer let downs following huge wins over NFC playoff teams. It happens…

    Week 17 should be wild.

    Either way, both teams will be a tough out come January.

  46. Niners won’t be losing to the lambs next Saturday night and Seattle better be ready for week 17. We were short handed in the secondary today and it still came down to a flukey play that had to be reviewed for Atlanta to pull it off. This will b a good wake up call for the final push. Go Niners

  47. ninersolid says:
    December 15, 2019 at 9:29 pm
    Niners won’t be losing to the lambs next Saturday night and Seattle better be ready for week 17. We were short handed in the secondary today and it still came down to a flukey play that had to be reviewed for Atlanta to pull it off. This will b a good wake up call for the final push. Go Niners
    ========

    LOL Hawks were down 6 defensive starters.

  48. NFLOffice: what was that all about, giving the Falcons a fair call ?
    Ref: sorry, I screwed them on the play before – ball never touched the ground, but I changed it anyway..
    ..on that last call, I forgot it was the Falcons and called it straight, since it seemed it was obvious it broke the plane..
    NFL Office: giving the Falcons a fair call ???? We just can’t have it ! It goes against all your training and all league directives to screw the Falcons ! What were you thinking ?
    Ref: Sorry…..guess I won’t get a playoff assignment now ?
    NFL Office: not so fast….we still owe the Saints a few more terrible calls, and you just may be the man for the job…..

  49. thermanmerman99 says:
    December 15, 2019 at 8:17 pm
    I’m a Colts fan so I have no play here , and Colts fans are universally nice to everyone, but 9ers fans are as obnoxious and rude as any fanbase I’ve been around. So I’m glad to see them lose just because of that.
    ———–
    Glad that someone else sees the obvious. Fortunately, Wilson and Carroll ran them off the internet for 6 years but now they’re worse than ever. Fools were even calling Garoppolo the “real MVP” until they lost to Seattle and Baltimore. Losers don’t usually win with grace. They’re the biggest fake fanbase in sports.

  50. Anyone else reminded of the 2011 playoffs Seattle vs Atlanta when watching the end of this game?

    I couldn’t help but remember my dismay when Tony Gonzalez caught that ball and they got the field goal for the win. Marshawn Lynch was supposed to win that game. Matt Ryan has done this before.

    I can’t imagine the emotional rollercoaster at the end for niner fans today:

    (SECOND TO LAST PLAY OF GAME):

    “IT’S A TD WE LOSE…. CRAP!!! …..NO WAIT IT WAS REPLAY REVERSED YEAAAHHHH!”

    (LAST PLAY OF GAME):

    “HE WAS STOPPED SHORT WE WIN YEAHHHHH…..NO WAIT IT WAS REVERSED TO TD WE LOSE ARRGGGHHHH!”

    My wife looked at me and said how glad she was that we weren’t niner fans… that was rough for them I am sure.

    I am not here to talk smack…as easily as the Falcons beat the niners today the Cards could beat the Seahawks next week.

    I wouldn’t underestimate the Rams…they love playing spoiler to division rivals. Seahawks know that well.

  51. cakesw says:
    December 15, 2019 at 8:54 pm
    Why is it that the 49er fans are so uber confident ???

    Nothing over the past month and a half have led anybody to believe this is a super team.

    The defense is mortal…. especially when they dont play scrub qbs who they beat up on during their 8-0 run….

    As good as the saints win was…. this loss was as bad.

    Why WOULDN’T we be confident going into this game? What about our season (or the Falcons season) would lead anyone to logically conclude that we’d lose this game? And yeah, our D is mortal when they’re missing 5 of 11 starters. So there’s that. Bottom line, they all played like garbage today. We’re still in the playoffs and very much control our destiny.

  52. Dang,,,well the hawks are back in first again lol. My niners didn’t deserve to win playing like that ,,,,

  53. Wow, costly loss for the 49ers. They have some injuries and that can always change the equation whether people are paying full attention to it or not.

  54. Steve Cunningham says:
    December 15, 2019 at 8:53 pm
    atldirtybird1 says:
    December 15, 2019 at 8:18 pm

    Eh…. I dunno about that being a year ahead of schedule. I thought the exact same thing in 2016 but I am so glad to have beat Shanahan because the Falcons would have won the Superbowl if he didn’t have his head up his tail.
    ___________________________

    Why do fans always blame the refs or coaches? I didn’t have a dog in the fight and it sure looked to me like the Falcons offense wasn’t executing very many plays and the D didn’t play nearly as good in the 2nd half, their possessions went 3 & out, scored a TD, 4 & out, a 3 play drive that ended with a fumble(I’m sure that was Shanahan’s fault too) and a 6 & out, then they never got the ball in OT, so I don’t see how it was Shanahan’s fault and not the players who for most of the last 2qts couldn’t even make a first down? All the OC can do is call the plays, it’s the players job to execute those plays and they couldn’t get it done. But thats just from a guy that was watching from a totally neutral place!
    ========================================================================================
    In all seriousness up 28-3 all Shanahan had to do was do nothing but call run plays and the Falcons would have won the Superbowl. It’s literally as simple as that.

  55. Why WOULDN’T we be confident going into this game? What about our season (or the Falcons season) would lead anyone to logically conclude that we’d lose this game? And yeah, our D is mortal when they’re missing 5 of 11 starters. So there’s that. Bottom line, they all played like garbage today. We’re still in the playoffs and very much control our destiny.

    ____________

    because this is the NFL and if you actually looked around you would realize how dangerous the Atlanta offense is. they have weapons and Matt Ryan is a veteran who should be a Super bowl champion…

    They beat the New Orleans saints this year already and if you didn’t have any concern it all today going in you don’t know the NFL.

    Is a Seahawk fan I was way concerned about going to Carolina today, we have always had trouble there. And I’m concerned about the Cardinals coming up to Seattle next week they always have a way of spoiling our fun as well. Not to mention Kyler Murray the wild card driving us crazy.

    Be honest, the Cardinals should have beat the 49ers a few weeks ago ….they had the ball with three minutes left in the game with the lead and somehow blew it.

    In the NFL nobody should ever think they are just going to win the game easily it just doesn’t work like that.

  56. I’m a Colts fan so I have no play here , and Colts fans are universally nice to everyone, but 9ers fans are as obnoxious and rude as any fanbase I’ve been around. So I’m glad to see them lose just because of that.
    ———–
    Glad that someone else sees the obvious. Fortunately, Wilson and Carroll ran them off the internet for 6 years but now they’re worse than ever. Fools were even calling Garoppolo the “real MVP” until they lost to Seattle and Baltimore. Losers don’t usually win with grace. They’re the biggest fake fanbase in sports.

    ———–

    Let me just add to this narrative. I agree. We went to the Ram/Niner game in LA earlier this year. I will admit the Rams laid an egg and got totally outclassed on the field. But holy cow, the Niners fans were unimaginably rude and immature. They we’re not cheering for their team as much as they were trolling the opposition constantly. If there was any doubt in my mind, it cemented them as my most hated team. Seattle/Rams have a good rivalry, but I was treated like a human being in Seattle. Not so much by Niner fan. Go Hawks…or anybody but the Niners.

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