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What if every one-score game during the 2018 season had the opposite result for the 49ers?

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How much would San Francisco have benefitted?

Seattle Seahawks v San Francisco 49ers Photo by Lachlan Cunningham/Getty Images

SB Nation is having another theme week, and the topic this time is ‘What if...’ — all week long, we will take a look at different scenarios, and we’ll kick things off with one of the most discussed plays in NFL history.

Yesterday we started the week off discussing the epic 2013 NFC Championship game where the San Francisco 49ers fell short to the Seattle Seahawks. Today we’re back with another “what if” scenario. This time taking a look at every one-score game the 49ers participated in, but if they had the opposite result. The Niners were in nine one-score games in 2018. If you reversed the outcome for each of those, the team would have gone 6-3 in those one-score games as opposed to 3-6. They would have also won seven games as opposed to four.

The problem with 7-9 is you can kiss Nick Bosa and Deebo Samuel goodbye. The Niners would have selected in the mid-teens during this past NFL Draft. You’re staring at Brian Burns, Montez Sweat, or trading up for Rashan Gary. As far as the second round goes, A.J. Brown, Mecole Hardman, JJ Arcega-Whiteside, and Parris Campbell were a few players that went in the middle of the round. This is one of the few scenarios where the 49ers don’t come out ahead in an alternate universe.

Looking at the rest of the NFC West, the 49ers would have benefited the most.

Seahawks 11-5 (+1)

Rams: 8-8 (-5)

49ers: 7-9 (+3)

Cardinals: 5-11 (+2)

There is plenty of luck involved in a one-score game. Those results tend to be fickle from year-to-year. The only team that would have had a bigger difference in results than the Rams were the Miami Dolphins, who would lose six wins and go down to 1-15. It’s hard to believe that the Rams will be as successful two years in a row in one-score games.

We told Brian Peacock yesterday on his podcast that the goal for the 49ers this year should be to split with the Rams. Keeping the games close will be critical. Keep it close, put the pressure on Jared Goff to make a play, or their defense to get a stop. The Rams are terrific, but they’re far from unbeatable. Their one-score games are proof of that.