The 49ers are 3-0 on the road this season. In their previous 34 games on the road, they were 5-29. This 49ers team isn’t those teams. San Francisco travels to Washington, where the home team generally is a three-point favorite before you take anything into account. Not this week. The Niners are 9.5 point favorites over the fighting Bill Callahan’s. The total on the game is 41.5, so Vegas is expecting around a 24-14 score. That’s relatively low.
Washington doesn’t have many playmakers on offense. Rookie Terry McLaurin has been very productive, and one of the better rookie wide receivers this season. After that, it’s slim pickings. Vernon Davis is questionable with a concussion. Both running backs are questionable, as well for Washington. Chris Thompson is the receiving back; he has a toe injury. Adrian Peterson is still kicking; he has a quad injury. Starting quarterback Case Keenum is questionable with a shoulder injury. He missed practice on Wednesday, but that was due to a veteran’s day off. He’ll likely play.
The 49ers’ defense is the reason the total is low. Washington has only made it to the red zone 12 times this season. That’s ten fewer times than San Francisco. On third down, they’re only converting 23% of the time. That’s rough. For example, the 49ers are converting 45% of the time on third down.
What I’m interested in is the 49ers focus this game. Do they come out and handle business, or do they mess around, let Washington hang around, and have to pull it out late? Judging by the first five games, I’m betting on the former assuming there aren’t whacky turnovers like Pittsburgh.