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This game will be no easy match for the Commanders, as San Francisco’s defense is about as dangerous as a young Mark Wahlberg surrounded by people who don’t look like him. The 49ers are the only team in the NFL to have made more interceptions (14) than allowed passing touchdowns (12) in 2022. A team hasn’t scored more than 20 points on San Francisco since Halloween. While the task of going up against Nick Bosa and company is challenging, to say the least, Washington has a lot going in their favor. The Commanders’ success has primarily been due to their defense, which remains one of the better units in the league, and they’ll be able to lean on them in this game. Washington ranks 10th in opponent yards per play, fourth in third-down defense, and they’re in the upper half of the NFL in Red Zone defense. San Francisco will be without Deebo Samuel because of an MCL sprain. You might be thinking, so what, they have Christian McCaffrey? Creating a game plan to shut down both Deebo Samuel AND Christian McCaffrey is impossible, but as we saw during the first half of his season with Carolina, McCaffrey can’t do everything himself. Last week, San Francisco beat the Seahawks by a touchdown by running McCaffrey 26 times and limiting third-string quarterback Brock Purdy’s reps. That might be easy to do against a Seahawks team, allowing the second most rushing yards per game in the NFL, but Washington is an entirely different animal. The Commanders have a top-ten rushing defense in the league, which is incredible considering how banged up their defensive unit has been at times this season. As well as Brock Purdy has played for the 49ers, you can expect some bumps in the road in his play soon. The more he plays, the more film opposing teams will have on him, which will mean the more they’ll be able to exploit his weaknesses. He has overperformed through his first couple of starts, and regression will come for him on Saturday.
This game comes down to Taylor Heinicke vs. Brock Purdy. Running against the 49ers is more difficult than finding the right Christmas gift for your girlfriend’s Dad. But San Francisco’s secondary has some weaknesses that Heinicke, Terry McLaurin, and Jahan Dotson can cash in on. The 49ers will be without two defensive tackles and at least one member of their backfield in cornerback Tarvarius Moore. Heinicke won’t necessarily need to have the game of his life. He will just need to play substantially better than Brock Purdy. Commanders are 6-2-1 ATS in their last nine games, and while this team is far from perfect, there are elements of toughness and surprise that makes them special. Also, let’s be honest, they would have won last week had the refs not had the sensibilities of Helen Keller. Vegas likes the 49ers -7, but the Commanders should win this game behind a dominant performance from their defense. Want to buy your girlfriend something nice to make up for your crappy Christmas gift? Take the Commanders money-line to get your free $200 back instantly from DraftKings!