San Francisco 49ers training camp is just around the corner! It’s time for us to look at each opponent and provide a reason for and against the 49ers beating them. We’ve included a poll for the community to vote on whether they expect a win or a loss and will see what kind of prediction this provides at the end.
The 49ers take a Week 7 trip to Washington in a game that probably should be won. You can read our opponent preview to see what Washington has been up to.
The Alex Smith-less Washington is officially on a rebuild. Yeah, with that front office they’ll go 4-12, and Jay Gruden might get fired anyway, but they have little talent that can carry them to a winning season, let alone the playoffs.
That said: they do have some talented rookies and the pieces here to get a competitive team together for 2020, but as we learned with the 2017 49ers, rebuilding takes time. The players need to take their lumps. It’s hard to see how the 49ers can’t come out of this with a win. Well, unless if that start time sabotages them.
Reason for: Dwayne Haskins/Case Keenum
Washington has far too many holes along with that Alex Smith injury to be anything close to competitive this year. They took Dwayne Haskins in the 2019 NFL Draft, and he has much potential...in a couple of years. As a rookie, he will turn some heads in Week 1 and Week 2, but once film gets found on him, it’s going to get ugly quick.
Washington doesn’t have much of a run game to take the edge off, unless if you think Adrian Peterson is going to rush for 1,000 yards this year. Haskins also doesn’t have a reliable receiver as of yet either. Third-round draft pick Terry McLaurin could become the savior of the team’s wide receiver problems, but as of this writing, don’t hold your breath. At least for 2019.
And if Haskins isn’t quarterback, who do the 49ers get? Case Keenum. Yes, he’s shown he can play in this league but to play well in this league you need pass catchers and a running game—something Washington doesn’t have either of. The only threat Washington has is Vernon Davis, who could play well against his former team in this matchup. Yes, you want to correct me and say Jordan Reed is a good tight end. He is, but this is Week 7 and Reed is a frequent traveler to Concussion City, who knows if he’ll be around when this game gets going? Washington has a lot of talent to develop, and they could turn some heads as early as 2020, but this right now is reminiscent of the 2017 49ers. Alex Smith’s injury HURTS.
Reason against: 10:00 AM start time
The 49ers travel to Los Angeles in Week 6 for what we can all expect will be a bloodbath, and what do they get for it? Why a trip to our nation’s capital to play a football game at 10:00 AM (where their bodies probably feel like it’s 7:00 AM due to all the travel, among other things).
If the 49ers, especially the offense, come out sluggish, this could be a long day. We’ve picked apart the Washington offense, but the defense has some functional pieces. Their interior defensive line is stout, and Ryan Kerrigan is solid as an edge rusher.
Josh Norman was a bit of a disappointment in 2018, but no one is calling him a bad cornerback either. Pair him with Landon Collins, and you could have some issues for the 49ers pass-catchers.
It sounds ridiculous that I would put the 10:00 AM start time as a reason, but going all the way across the country after a divisional game has to have some sort of effect on the team for Sunday.
What will happen in Week 7 vs. Washington?
This poll is closed