49ers vs. Cowboys: 5 bold predictions for Wild Card round of NFL playoffs
By Peter Panacy
No. 1: 49ers watch Deebo Samuel gain 150 net yards vs. Cowboys
One of the key ways the Niners can help out Jimmy Garoppolo is to ensure Deebo Samuel is the primary weapon and X-factor, both as a rusher and as a receiver.
Dallas won’t be able to key in solely on Elijah Mitchell in the run game, and Samuel’s ability to get outside creates all sorts of problems on the ground for a hyper-aggressive Cowboys front seven.
There are also other reasons why Samuel, one of the NFL’s leaders in all-purpose yards this season (1,770), is such a vital threat.
It wouldn’t be a shocker to see Samuel gain 50-plus yards on the ground. But, even with Dallas’ ability to force interceptions, it was still responsible for allowing a whopping 2,275 yards after the catch this season, fourth most in the NFL.
Samuel, meanwhile, ranked second in the NFL behind Cooper Kupp with 768 yards after the catch, suggesting there’s a strong possibility he’ll wind up with at least of few of those big-play efforts San Francisco so desperately needed in Week 18 against the Rams.
The 49ers would surely be in business if Samuel takes over the game on Sunday, and for our final bold prediction, let’s suggest he does so by netting 150-plus yards in one way or another.
The Niners and Cowboys kick off on Sunday, Jan. 16 at 4:30 p.m. from AT&T Stadium.