Promoted backup Blaine Gabbert leads 49ers past Falcons
SANTA CLARA, Calif. (AP) — Blaine Gabbert threw a pair of second-quarter touchdown passes to Garrett Celek and the undermanned San Francisco 49ers held on to beat the Atlanta Falcons 17-16 on Sunday.
The 49ers (3-6) head into the bye on a winning note after a week of change.
Making his first start in more than two years, Gabbert didn't take a sack behind an offensive line that has faced heavy scrutiny all year.
Celek made TD catches of 1 and 11 yards to give him three on the year and San Francisco's stout defense flustered Matt Ryan despite the patchwork use of backups because of a rash of injuries.
Gabbert threw an interception midway through the fourth quarter, giving Atlanta (6-3) another chance with 7:14 to go. After an incompletion, Ryan hit six straight throws, but eventually missed Julio Jones in the end zone and Atlanta kicked a field goal and fell just short.