4 reasons why 49ers beat Bengals in key Week 14 bout

Jimmy Garoppolo #10 of the San Francisco 49ers (Photo by Bobby Ellis/Getty Images)
Jimmy Garoppolo #10 of the San Francisco 49ers (Photo by Bobby Ellis/Getty Images) /
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Jeff Wilson Jr., San Francisco 49ers
Sep 15, 2019; Cincinnati, OH, USA; San Francisco 49ers back Jeff Wilson Jr. celebrates his second quarter touchdown against the Cincinnati Bengals at Paul Brown Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Joe Maiorana-USA TODAY Sports /

No. 2: 49ers can revert back to their ground-and-pound game

The Niners lost a bit of their identity in Week 13 against the Seattle Seahawks, not focusing as much on the run as they had previously during their three-game win streak.

Granted, Seattle made things more difficult by loading the box with as many as eight defenders, and San Francisco averaged only 2.8 rush yards per attempt during the game. Yet that was the kind of trend the Seahawks have been able to show in recent weeks.

The Bengals haven’t allowed 100 rush yards in any of their last three games, yet the trio of opponents — the Las Vegas Raiders, Pittsburgh Steelers and Los Angeles Chargers — are either banged up at the position, have shoddy offensive lines or are pass-first offenses, almost respectively in that order.

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And still, Cincy’s defense is allowing opponents to run for an average of 4.4 yards per carry this season anyway despite this recent streak.

Cincinnati has given up five 100-plus yard rushing games this season and is 2-3 in those games. From the 49ers’ perspective, keeping Joe Burrow and Co. off the field as much as possible has to be a priority, and with running back Elijah Mitchell banged up, it’s likely reserve tailback Jeff Wilson Jr. sees a lot of action.

In three starts last year, Wilson had two 100-plus games on the ground. If he gets another, the Niners likely win.