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Death, taxes, and Jimmy Garoppolo injuries. Those are just a few of the things that are guaranteed in life when you’re a 49ers fan. And also losses on the road in a winnable game. But alas, Niners fans seem to believe the franchise is on the right path. According to our SB Nation Reacts poll this week, 74 percent of 49ers fans believe the team is on the right track and headed in the right direction.
In the week prior, that was up astronomically at 84 percent. So to be down just 10 percent following a loss and more Jimmy Garoppolo injury drama, I’d say that’s pretty solid. Maybe fans are in good spirits after the holidays and the start of the new year. Perhaps it’s reflective of the fact that fans are excited to see Trey Lance start and get another chance under center. Maybe, just maybe, fans have learned to push past Jimmy G's injuries and focus on what’s next. I’ll stop myself there, but that’s an exciting proposition when you have the No. 3 draft pick sitting on your bench.
While I personally am sad to see Jimmy injured (as anyone rational should be), I’m also fired up to see what the future of the Niners could look like, and that’s exactly what I’m excited to see when the Niners take on the Texans back home in Santa Clara. Jimmy G did not take any practice reps this week, so the assumption is Trey Lance will get the start following what Kyle Shanahan has called Lance’s best month of practice.
The Niners have home-field advantage, but the Texans come in rolling off their biggest win of the season, defeating the Los Angeles Chargers the week prior. While Lance is expected to do just fine, it’s unreasonable to expect he’ll be 100 percent comfortable as soon as he hits the field.
The Niners need to grind out a win against a team that just posted 41 points, with Davis Mills looking better each week, especially when he teams up with wideout Brandin Cooks. However, even with its limitations at certain positions, the Niners' defense should be able to thwart any offensive showing like that.
Plus, you best believe the Texans' defense may be in over their heads trying to stop Deebo Samuel, George Kittle, and Elijah Mitchell, who is expected to return after a knee injury.
In all, our friends over at DraftKings Sportsbook have the Niners as a 12-point favorite. Maybe a little closer than it should be, but without the 49ers starting quarterback suiting up and not much data on Lance, it’s reasonable. And hey, a win is a win. With just two regular-season games left on the docket, we need all the dubs we can get.
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