This Wild Card matchup is going to be one of the best games of the weekend. We have an interesting NFC showdown in this one. The sixth seed San Francisco 49ers are on the road and taking on the three seed Dallas Cowboys. San Fran won seven out of their last nine, including four out of their last five to clinch a playoff berth. While Dallas won four of their last five to clinch an NFC East title. This matchup should be a fun one to watch from start to finish. With that being said here is my preview for this NFC Wild Card showdown.
The San Francisco 49ers are red hot at the moment. San Francisco has gotten healthy and they look like a real threat in the NFC. They played in the toughest division in all of football this season, but they managed to be one of three teams in that division to make it to the postseason. At the beginning of the season, I did not buy into the hype around the 49ers. They had a lot of question marks coming into the season, but they answered them all and I am all in on them. This offense is 8th in total yards of offense and averages a little over 127 rushing yards per game as well.
With Raheem Mostert going down, everyone thought Trey Sermon was going to be the bell cow running back for them. We were sadly mistaken as Elijah Mitchell took over as the team’s number one running back. However, as good as this teams running game is their top three receivers are incredible right now. Deebo Samuel is fully healthy and has been a threat the entire season. George Kittle missed time this season, but since he has been back he has been a monster for them. Brandon Aiyuk started off slow, but his production has picked up the last month of the season. These three guys are vital to San Fran’s offense.
Defensively, the 49ers have been incredible this season. They are top ten in total yards allowed per game, passing and rushing yards allowed per game and points allowed per game. With the incredible duo leading the charge of Nick Bosa and Fred Warner, San Fran’s defense has been solid this year. They have a tough matchup ahead of them.
Dallas has the second highest point differential in the entire league. This offense has been fantastic the entire year. Dak Prescott has been the focal point of this offense this season and has been a big time factor. He threw for 4,449 passing yards to go along with 37 passing touchdowns and 10 interceptions. We have also seen Ceedee Lamb take a big step forward in 2021 which was very beneficial for this offense. Dallas is first in the league in points per game and total yards of offense per game as well. Tied for second in passing yards per game and ninth in rushing yards per game as well. Offensively, this team has been a force all season long and even when someone has missed time it has always been next man up.
Defensively, the Cowboys defense surprised a lot of people in 2021. Micah Parsons has already blossomed into an All-Pro linebacker and has been very beneficial to this defense this year. Dallas gives up a little over 21 points per game and they give up a ton of yards, but teams don’t capitalize against them. The Cowboys also have all-pro corner back Trevon Diggs who led the league in interceptions this season. This defense is going to need to be able to contain San Fran’s passing game in order to have a chance to win.
Dallas is a 3 point favorite with the over/under set at 51. I lean the over here because I love both offenses in this matchup. My official play though is San Francisco ML. The Cowboys don’t match up well against this 49ers team. They are going to give up a ton of yards to the 49ers offense and San Fran will capitalize on those opportunities. Dallas is also 0-2 in games this season against NFC playoff opponents that are not in their division. The Cowboys are also 3-4 against teams in the playoffs this season (2 of them came against the Eagles). This has a Mike McCarthy let down written all over it. San Francisco is the better team right now and they will take advantage of the matchup that they have in this Wild Card showdown.
-Chris Jones (@cjoneswho1212)
Featured Image (lineups.com)
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