No. 1: Win the Turnover-Differential Battle
Every team wants to do this, but it’s vastly more important for the 49ers. Heck, one could argue the tone for the Niners’ Week 7 loss was set when returner Trent Taylor fumbled a punt on what would have been the 49ers’ opening offensive drive.
San Francisco committed a total of three turnovers last week, while forcing zero from Dallas.
Want to know a weird stat, though? According to ESPN, the Niners actually rank second in the league in forced fumbles (12). The only problem is they’ve only recovered four of these.
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Sure, the ball isn’t round, but it would behoove the 49ers defense to be in better position if/when this happens. Overall, San Francisco ranks 20th in the league in generating turnovers (eight). That’s the same number of turnovers lost the Eagles over seven games, so we can see why this is important.
The 49ers haven’t had a ballhawking defense this season, although the forced-fumble number is encouraging.
What is important, however, is ball security for the offense. As was seen last week, the Niners don’t have the talent on defense to overcome offensive turnovers, which spelled disaster for a talented Cowboys offense.
One could argue the Eagles offense is even more potent — especially through the air — making the need for San Francisco to win the turnover battle all the more crucial.