Although the 49ers are considered to be a front-runner in the NFL, the team has had a pretty dismal preseason. The 49ers’ offense has struggled mightily, scoring a grand total of 24 points in three games while the defense has given up 64. The offense didn’t score a single touchdown until their third preseason game against the San Diego Chargers in the second quarter, and that touchdown pass was thrown by newly-acquired QB Blaine Gabbert … Blaine Gabbert, people! Regardless of starting QB Colin Kaepernick‘s past success with the team and his new seven-year, $126 million contract, he hasn’t performed this preseason. If the team wants to win this last preseason game, it’s actually a good sign that Kaepernick won’t be playing, since Gabbert has been the savior so far. The 49ers have quite a few talented WRs so Gabbert should have some luck with them.
The Texans were graced with the first pick of the draft in 2014, so the only way they can move is up. The team is 2-1 this preseason and their victory over the Denver Broncos in their third game is a telling sign of their improvement. But for the last preseason game, all of the starters will be sitting on the sideline. Backup QBs Tom Savage, a rookie, and Case Keenum, a three-year veteran, will be splitting time, with Keenum reportedly starting on Thursday. It will be up to him to make something happen.
With all of this being said, I don’t think the 49ers’ lackluster offense will be able to withstand the forces of the Texans’ defense. Although DEs J.J. Watt and Jadeveon Clowney will not be playing, the 49ers’ offense doesn’t seem able to make big plays, let alone move the ball down the field. I’m picking the Texans in this one.