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If only Jimmy Garoppolo could always play like the 49ers are down 17-0 in a must-win game against the Los Angeles Rams to keep the season alive. Because when that happens, the team tends to win. And we like winning. Especially when it means a playoff berth, such moments inspire confidence in the current season and in the future. That’s why 90 percent of 49ers fans believe the team is headed in the right direction, according to fans polled by SB Nation.
Ninety percent — that’s quite a lot and up 10 percent from Week 17. While promising in itself, it’s not quite the full picture of where the team stands. How the Niners perform up against the Dallas Cowboys in Wild Card Weekend really matters. The Cowboys are rolling after routing the Philadelphia Eagles 51-26. But the Niners’ confidence is high, too, after digging themselves out of a hole and managing to win in overtime on the road, 27-24. They were 6-3 on the road this season and really should’ve been 8-1 ... but that’s neither here nor there.
And the Niners just keep getting better — and healthier. Jimmy Garoppolo and Trent Williams, among others, were removed from injury reports and appear to be ready to go for the renewed rivalry with the Boys. It’s remarkable to think about what Jimmy G has been able to do with a seriously injured thumb. But the big return, of course, is one of the best left tackles in the game in Williams.
Even so, Dallas-San Francisco isn’t the game fans are most excited about. Narrowly winning SB Nation’s national question would be the Bills and the Pats, who fans were most interested in seeing duke it out on Saturday.
But Dallas-SF promises to be quite the showdown as the Cowboys bring the best offense in the league up against one of the best defenses in San Francisco. The Niners have won four of their last five and come into Jerry World looking for a battle.
It all goes down on Sunday in Dallas as the Cowboys are 3-point favorites over at DraftKings SportsBook, which is honestly a lot closer than I would’ve predicted, but I’ll take it. Give me the Niners +3 and a road win to keep the season alive.
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