SF 49ers: Revisiting win/loss predictions in light of Week 2 injuries

Jimmy Garoppolo #10 of the SF 49ers (Photo by Michael Zagaris/San Francisco 49ers/Getty Images)
Jimmy Garoppolo #10 of the SF 49ers (Photo by Michael Zagaris/San Francisco 49ers/Getty Images) /
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Deebo Samuel #19 of the SF 49ers (Photo by Alika Jenner/Getty Images)
Deebo Samuel #19 of the SF 49ers (Photo by Alika Jenner/Getty Images) /

SF 49ers’ Weeks 14-17

Week 14 vs. Washington Football Team

The final stretch of games starts with a matchup of two teams that couldn’t be in more different situations.

The SF 49ers are coming off a Super Bowl berth and came into this season with high expectations, some of which have been tempered by the loss of Bosa and other injuries the team has sustained through the offseason and the first two weeks.

The Washington Football Team technically is still nameless (although maybe by the time the teams meet there could be a planned mascot in place) and is in the early stages of rebuilding.

Early in the season, the WFT is 1-1 after shocking the league and coming back to win over the Eagles in Week 1. They were pretty well handled by the Cardinals in Week 2 in Arizona, but have had moments where the defense looks to be heading in the right direction.

But the offense has been near the bottom of the NFL in terms of passing (179 YPG) and rushing (98.5 YPG) yardage and has only managed to score 21 points per game through two weeks.

It’s going to be a long season for Washington as they look to add talent and while a strong defensive line may create some stress for the 49ers’ offensive line, there just is a dearth of skill elsewhere on the roster.

Result: Win

Record: 9-4

Week 15 @ Dallas Cowboys (Sunday Night Football)

This one is tougher than I want it to be, in spite of the Cowboys’ rather ho-hum start to the 2020 season.

After two games, Dallas is 1-1 and is only not 0-2 because the Falcons mysteriously forgot how to field an onside kick. But the record feels fitting because they’ve been about as average a team as they can be so far in 2020.

PFF’s grades tell some of the tale: 69.3 overall (17th), 70.9 passing offense (19th), 69.2 rushing offense (13th), and 57.8 on defense (19th). And while these numbers are not the end-all of information, they certainly paint the picture of a team that has a new coach for this season (former Packers head coach Mike McCarthy) and is still figuring itself out.

Still, I don’t like this matchup for the SF 49ers for several reasons.

First, even though Dallas running back Ezekiel Elliot is off to a mediocre start (44 carries, 185 yards), he’s the type of elusive back who tends to give this 49ers defense fits. If he rights the ship, he could be a problem.

Second, while quarterback Dak Prescott is not Kyler Murray or Russell Wilson, he’s still pretty mobile in the pocket and could be enough of a problem in that area to give the 49ers defense fits in ways similar to what Murray and Wilson have over the past year or so.

This game could end up being the difference between the SF 49ers’ second straight divisional crown and a Wild Card spot this year. And at the moment I see it going the wrong way, but it could just as easily be a win.

Result: Loss

Record: 9-5

Week 16 @ Arizona Cardinals

Losing to the Cardinals in Week 1was problematic for so many reasons, but the chief among those is that Arizona wasn’t particularly good and won.

That is made worse by the fact they might even be improved by the time the SF 49ers see them again in Arizona with playoff seeding and maybe a division championship on the line.

Still, as much as the Cardinals are better than they were last season, it’s hard to see the Niners not having a better idea of their own identity by Week 16, and it may be one that leans more heavily on offense, especially Jimmy Garoppolo, to win the game over their divisional foes.

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Interestingly enough, in my initial predictions, I had the 49ers splitting with the Cardinals, with each team winning at home. Obviously, the loss in Week 1 complicates that, but the SF 49ers should be fully capable of returning the favor and beating Arizona at their place late in the season.

Result: Win

Record: 10-5

Week 17 vs Seattle Seahawks

It is not surprising to see the Seahawks and 49ers facing off in the final game of the regular season for each team. Last year, they played the very last game of the entire season and while there may be games after the contest this season, expect tough competition from these bitter rivals.

Unfortunately, if the Seahawks keep playing like they’re playing, they may not need this game, as their play so far would suggest they’re top contenders for the NFC’s No.1 seed and that single first-round bye.

Sure, something could change and make this game a de facto NFC West championship game, although frankly, I was hoping that this game wouldn’t matter from the 49ers perspective. That seems unlikely now.

Still, I see the 49ers splitting all their division games by winning at home on the season’s final day. It will probably be enough to get them into the playoffs as one of the wildcard teams and given the tumultuous nature of the offseason and the first two weeks of the regular season, that would be quite an accomplishment.

Result: Win


The SF 49ers are in a strange position, having gone from the surprise team of 2019 to high expectations to being back among the major maybes of the NFC in just a matter of weeks.

But if the team can make good on their next-man-up mentality, it should be enough to get them into the playoffs and from there it would only take a couple of hot games to get them where they wanted to be when the year began.

Next. How SF 49ers still make playoffs with Jimmy Garoppolo, Nick Bosa out. dark

Unlikely? Maybe so, but that’s why the games are played.