FBO: 49ers' hopes may "run" away

In Any Given Sunday, Football Outsiders examines the most surprising result of each NFL weekend and where the two teams involved can go from here. Week 5's result is the Atlanta Falcons' 45-10 rout of San Francisco.

Mike Singletary wants his San Francisco 49ers teams to win with tough defense, an effective running game and mistake-free play from his quarterback. Those three factors helped them start 3-1.

None of them happened this Sunday against the Atlanta Falcons.

While the 49ers likely will rebound in two of those areas, the third -- an effective running game -- will probably be a season-long issue and could conceivably cost the team a playoff spot. In fact, the team is so bad in that area (despite having Frank Gore) that it's nearly impossible to imagine their winning a playoff game this winter.

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