The Falcons offensive line against the 49ers defensive line is strength on strength match. The Falcons offensive line specializes in pass protection, and only allowed 28 sacks, 7th in the league, while the 49ers tied for 11th in sacks with 38.
Justin and Aldon Smith provide a combination pass rush that has allowed Aldon Smith to record 19.5 sacks, but none since Justin Smith initially went down in week 14. Falcons Left tackle Sam Baker and left guard Justin Blalock will face the two Smith’s most of the game, and working together will be important, if Justin Smith can play to usual levels, and tie up both the tackle and guard, Aldon Smith should return to the sack master we saw earlier in the season.
Falcons Right tackle Tyson Clabo will have to defend Aldon Smith at times, as the 49ers rush Smith from both sides, and Aldon Smith has actually had a higher percentage of success rushing from the right side. The Falcons running game showed improvement against the Seahawks last week, but will need further improvement to have success against possibly the NFL’s best front seven.