It was a painful loss in Week 15 as the 49ers fell to the Atlanta Falcons, 29-22 in the final seconds of the game. Here are eight takeaways from Sunday.
1. Another week, another impressive performance by George Kittle. The tight end hauled in 13 passes for 134 yards against the Falcons. His 134 yards on Sunday passed Hall of Famer Mike Ditka for the most receiving yards by a tight end in their first three seasons in league history. Ditka registered 2,774 yards in his first three seasons with the Chicago Bears. Kittle is now at 2,780 (888 this season) with two games to go.
2. San Francisco's first score of the day came on a 21-play, 88-yard drive that chipped 12:55 off the clock in the first quarter. The series culminated in a 2-yard touchdown run by Raheem Mostert. San Francisco's 21 plays was the longest of the season. Mostert has now scored a touchdown in each of the 49ers last four games (see No. 5).
3. Atlanta answered back with a series of big plays highlighted by Julio Jones, including a 28-yarder on 3rd-and-4 to move into 49ers territory. Matt Ryan connected with his receiver on a 5-yard touchdown to tie the game.
Jones was virtually unstoppable against the 49ers. The receiver put up 134 yards on 13 receptions and two touchdowns, including the game-winning score in the final seconds of the game.
4. Kyle Juszczyk came up with the 49ers biggest play of the game. In the fourth quarter, tight end Ross Dwelley knocked the ball out of punt returner Kenjon Barner's hands which was immediately recovered by Juszczyk. The fullback muscled his way to the 1-yard line. Two plays later, Jimmy Garoppolo found Juszczyk in the end zone for his first touchdown of the season and first at Levi's® Stadium. Garoppolo has now connected with 13 different receivers in the end zone this season.
The 49ers have now forced 21 fumbles this season.
5. Each of the 49ers last three matchups have come down to the final play of the game. Ryan and Co. drove down the field in the final minute of the game, dominated by Jones. With :08 seconds on the clock, Ryan connected with tight end Austin Hooper in the end zone. After a review, the ruling was reversed due to the ball hitting the ground while completing the catch. On the following play, Ryan found Jones at the 1-yard line, which was initially ruled short. After review, the ball crossed the goal line and was ruled a touchdown to give Atlanta the lead with :02 remaining on the clock.
The 49ers attempted a lateral that was fumbled and later recovered by Atlanta for a touchdown as time expired on the clock.
6. Sheldon Day picked up the 49ers first sack of the game, and his first sack of the season, early into the third quarter. The defensive lineman beat his man up the middle and swallowed up the quarterback for a 7-yard loss.
7. Nick Bosa recorded his first sack in two weeks. The rookie was able to side step tackle Jake Matthews and bring down Ryan for Bosa's ninth sack of the season.
8. Garoppolo now has eight straight games with a touchdown. The quarterback finished the game 22-of-34 passing for 200 yards and one touchdown.