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As of 2018, the San Francisco 49ers are 11-2 on trips to the Eastern time zone (including a trip to 2019 with a thrilling victory in New Orleans). But the 49ers are just 3-5 in games after traveling to the Eastern time zone. So they’ve been great on trips to the east coast (or in the eastern time zone), but not in home games.

On Sunday, the 49ers face the Atlanta Falcons in a crucial game that could have a huge impact on the NFC’s playoff image. The 49ers, of course, are coming off a trip to the Eastern time zone, where they beat the Cincinnati Bengals in overtime. The question is, will this trend continue on Sunday or will the 49ers go about business and beat a lesser team, as they should?

We only need two years back, another Week 15 game, when the 49ers returned home from a two week trip to the East Coast. San Francisco hosted the Atlanta Falcons, a team the 49ers were clearly better than. It should have been a game to help land home advantage in the NFC playoffs, but instead the 49ers couldn’t figure out how to stop Falcons wide receiver Julio Jones. Jones had a day in the field and scored the winning touchdown for Atlanta.

So what other games have the 49ers given up on, following trips to the Eastern time zone? Here are the 49ers’ losses in games after traveling to the Eastern Time Zone, since 2018:

December 2, 2018: San Francisco lost to the Seattle Seahawks in Seattle after losing to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers the week before. But the 49ers still lose in Seattle, so that’s not unusual. (The 49ers won their next home game against the Denver Broncos. So technically this one could go either way. I counted it as a loss, as the team moved back to the West Coast and suffered loss after the trip to the East Coast.)

September 22, 2019: The 49ers beat the Pittsburg Steelers at home, after a road trip to Tampa and Cincinnati. San Francisco had beaten the Buccaneers and Bengals, and after a tough game against the Steelers, came out on top to go 3-0 this season.

October 27, 2019: After a rainy and muddy victory in Washington the previous week, the 49ers returned to Levi’s Stadium and destroyed the Carolina Panthers 51-13.

December 15, 2019: This is the game I mentioned above. The 49ers had split the two-week road trip to that game, losing in Baltimore but winning in New Orleans. It was an impressive achievement, coming away with at least one victory on a difficult road trip. But the joy didn’t last long, as the 49ers lost the next game to the Falcons, losing 29-22. Rahim mostert and Matt Breida both lost fumbles in this game. Meanwhile, the defense had no response for Julio Jones, who had 13 catches for 134 yards and two touchdowns.

October 4, 2020: It was the week the 2020 season fell apart. In fact, it started to crumble during the two week trip to the East Coast leading up to this game. On the trip to the East Coast, the 49ers looked like the NFC champions, destroying the New York Giants and New York Jets in consecutive weeks. But those victories turned out to be costly, as the team lost Nick bosa, Salomon Thomas and Dee Ford for the season. On this trip, Jimmy garoppolo also suffered an injury, a sprained ankle, which would cost him much of the season. The team came home, only to lose to the Philadelphia Eagles, in a game where Nick Mullens threw two costly interceptions.

November 5, 2020: After defeating the New England Patriots on the East Coast and losing to the Seahawks in Seattle, the 49ers returned home to face the Green Bay Packers, the San Francisco team eliminated from the playoffs almost 10 months earlier. But this one didn’t go so well, as the 49ers (playing with almost no wide receivers) couldn’t keep up with Aaron Rodgers.

September 26, 2021: The 49ers opened the season in the Eastern time zone, winning two games in the East. The team beat the Detroit Lions and the Philadelphia Eagles. But the homecoming saw the post-east timezone curse continue, and for the second straight season the 49ers lost to the Green Bay Packers, this time after scoring the touchdown with just: 36 remaining. Then the defense forgot to cover Devonte Adams … and you probably remember what happened next.

November 28, 2021: The Jacksonville Jaguars were no match for the 49ers, and the Minnesota Vikings didn’t prove much more difficult the following week, when the 49ers returned to Santa Clara.

So the 49ers have had great success in the Eastern time zone. It was the games back on the west coast, after those trips east, that posed a problem. Will the trend continue on Sunday?

I have no doubts that the 49ers will win this game against the Falcons. The injury toll San Francisco currently faces is concerning, but the Falcons have struggled against good teams this year. So I expect the 49ers to break the post-eastern time zone curse and get a bit closer to playoff play.

The views expressed in this article are those of the author and, while equally important, are not necessarily those of the site as a whole.

Kyle Shanahan called one of the most confusing games of his career when San Francisco’s 30-23 loss to the Seattle Seahawks – a 4th and 1 play zone with Jimmy Garoppolo at quarterback, which would have resulted in a turnover on the downs if Alex Mack did not commit a bizarre illegal snap penalty that nullified the game. The choice to go was certainly controversial, given that San Francisco was on its own 39-yard line and had lost only seven points. So why exactly did Kyle Shanahan believe it was the right choice not only to direct the play in this situation, but with Jimmy Garoppolo and not Trey Lance? “Because we thought it was a really good game to race against these guys,” Shanahan replied on Monday. “We didn’t shoot him

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