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If you could guarantee three non-division games as wins for the 49ers, which would you choose?

Your answers today will be different than during the season

NFL-San Francisco 49ers at Washington Redskins Photo by Jonathan Newton / The Washington Post via Getty Images

The San Francisco 49ers have a chance to run the table this season, but there is a reason that seldomly happens in the NFL. Short weeks, injuries, motivation, and getting every team’s “best shot” will make it difficult for the Niners to go undefeated in 2020.

What if you could lock in some games as wins, though? Last year, I would have picked the Bengals, Washington, and Falcons. Kyle Shanahan’s revenge game didn’t go as planned with a depleted secondary. Washington was a literal Slip-n-Slide game that didn’t feature a touchdown. The Bengals game as a safe pick. Predictions in June are bound to look stupid come November, so let’s do it!

Which three-non division games would you lock in as wins?

Games in the NFC West are unequivocally the most important ones that the 49ers play; this is evidenced by how competitive they were in 2019. Only the Rams game on the road didn’t come down to the wire. Don’t be fooled by the final score of the Cardinals games.

In the spirit of creativity, we are eliminating division games from ones that you could potentially lock. On top of that, we all know that due to the way that tiebreakers for playoff spots work that games against the opposite conference mean the least. We’d all pick the Jets, and the Dolphins wouldn’t be far behind. That’s too easy and no fun.

That leaves us with six games to consider—four games against the NFC East and the Packers and Saints. Two are no-brainers that we can all agree on: The Giants and Washington. Young quarterbacks vs. the 49ers defense and two bad secondaries. This comes down to one answer, and I can’t wait to see who picks who. I’m going with the team the Niners undressed twice in 2019.

The Eagles are a weird team that plays to their competition. Carson Wentz is sure to have a superhero-MVP type of performance on Sunday Night Football because, of course, he will. The Cowboys are loaded on offense, and with that game taking place in December, they’ll have an identity. The Saints have arguably the fewest holes on their roster in the NFL. That brings us to Green Bay.

The Packers needed receiver help in the worst way, and they added Marcedes Lewis and Devin Funchess. San Francisco isn’t a good matchup for them. This was true in November:

Nothing changed in the NFC Championship, and I feel the same this season.