Thursday Night Football is back with the Atlanta Falcons hosting the Jacksonville Jaguars. While the Jaguars are playing out the string, the Falcons are looking to lock up their wildcard berth. They are 8-5 and while technically still alive in the divisional race, they are likely going to be in the playoffs via the wildcard route. The Falcons are 8-5 and hold most of the necessary tiebreakers. They play New Orleans next week, but with this game and a home season finale against Tampa Bay, I would be shocked if they did not make the playoffs.
Atlanta is somewhat pertinent to the 49ers because of the potential playoff matchup. If the 49ers are unable to secure the first round bye, as it currently stands they would face the Lions. However, there is still a chance they could face the Falcons depending on how the next three weeks go. And even if the 49ers can secure the first round bye, Atlanta remains a second round possibility if we see some upsets.
This should be better football than we saw on Monday. The Jaguars aren't a good team, but they at least have Maurice Jones-Drew. And Blaine Gabbert can be entertaining at times. The Falcons on the other hand have a host of big play weapons that can be quite entertaining. Seeing Julio Jones streaking down the middle of the field on a deep route is a sight to behold.
On a slightly important side note, and I'll have more on this first thing tomorrow, Patrick Willis joined Joe Staley in NOT practicing today. We'll know more about his status after tomorrow and Saturday's practice. Hopefully he can play without practicing, but I'd imagine he will be listed as questionable and a game-time decision by the 49ers coaching staff.