With the San Francisco 49ers (7-7) eliminated from playoff contention, it will be interesting to see how the team plays the San Diego Chargers (8-6) as the role of ‘spoiler’ will be in the cards. A battle of two California teams as it’s a Nor-Cal verse S0-Cal showdown, the question remains who will win? While the 49ers look like a deflated team, I have no choice but to place my money on the Chargers.
The Chargers who are one point underdogs, should be able to win as the 49ers defense has been hampered by injuries all season long. From NT Glenn Dorsey’s torn bicep to rookie third-round pick (No. 77) ILB Chris Borland’s recent bum ankle, the 49ers have been hit hard in 2014. Not to mention, the 49ers will likely be without three of their top cornerbacks in CB Chris Culliver, CB Tramaine Brock, and rookie first-round pick (No. 30) DB Jimmie Ward, the Chargers should have no problems airing it out to WR Malcolm Floyd and TE Antonio Gates.
Gates has been an absolute monster this season in red zone opportunities as eight of his 10 touchdowns have came inside the 20-yard line. A tribute to QB Philip Rivers as he continues to find his future Hall of Famer, the 49ers linebackers should have their hands full on Sunday as I predict Gates to finish with eight catches for 85 yards and one touchdown. However, not to be outdone will be the play of Floyd.
The Chargers lone-deep threat as WR Keenan Allen is out with a broken collar-bone, Floyd should see an increase in targets as Rivers tests the banged-up secondary. And while rookie fourth-round pick CB Dontae Johnson and CB Perrish Cox have done an admirable job so far, facing Floyd will be a tough task for either of them.
With the 49ers trying to play the role of spoiler, I just don’t see that happening. An offense that hopes to find their offensive identity while the defense holds their own, it won’t be enough this time as I predict the Chargers to win 24-13.
NinerFans.com 11-3 (Over/Under)
With the total points set at 41, I would take the under. Gates, Floyd, and Royal should do the dirty work as they extend drives but it will ultimately come down to the 49ers offense to see if they can sustain drives. Up to this point they have failed and I don’t see that changing anytime soon.
NinerFans.com 7-7 (line)
With the 49ers being -1 point favorites, I would pick San Diego. The 49ers should put up a fight but in the end it will be their lack of scoring that will be their downfall.
Fantasy Football (10 out of 37)
As you know we select three players each game who we think will score touchdowns (quarterbacks omitted). Here are this week’s picks.
RB Frank Gore
WR Eddie Royal
TE Antonio Gates
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