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Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports

3 Potential ‘Trap Games’ for the 49ers in 2024

Jul 6, 2024 at 6:35 AM

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Once the NFL schedule gets released, fans, analysts, and even the players within the organization look at the games and make predictions. With each prediction held, there are games that fans become increasingly nervous about - a matchup that the team is supposed to win but ends up losing. This term is called a 'trap game', and every NFL franchise endures it each season.

For the San Francisco 49ers and their 2024 schedule, there are three games that stood out to me as potential trap games.

New York Jets (Week 1 HOME)

The San Francisco 49ers' week one matchup in 2022 resulted in a 19-10 loss to the Chicago Bears, a team that finished with a 3-14 record that year. This season when the 49ers host the New York Jets on Monday Night Football in week one, a similar outcome could take place.

This is the first "trap game" for the 49ers' 2024 campaign and will start the team with a 0-1 record, vying to get back on track after only one week.

The New York Jets will have a healthy Aaron Rodgers leading the charge, and although he will be rusty from missing last year due to his season-ending Achilles rupture, he is a veteran who has played the 49ers many times over the years.

Offensively, the 49ers will struggle to get their running game going due to the stout defensive line of the Jets paired with their defense as a whole. Without a running game, the pass rush will get after quarterback Brock Purdy early and often, causing many turnovers and mistakes.

The Niners can't expect to walk right into Levi's Stadium and continue their dominating ways against a team that has proven to make opposing quarterbacks and offenses struggle, especially against a future Hall of Fame signal-caller.

Chicago Bears (Week 14 HOME)

Even though the Chicago Bears finished with a losing record in 2023, a new hope is surrounding the organization as we head into training camp. By week fourteen, quarterback Caleb Williams will have had plenty of experience and a solid grasp of the offense. He and receivers Keenan Allen, D.J. Moore, and rookie Rome Odunze will have already built strong chemistry by then. The 49ers can't forget about Bears running back D'Andre Swift, who will look to bring his swiftness and talent via the running game.

The 49ers will be coming off a strong victory versus a very tough Buffalo Bills team the week prior and will have used up all their energy in the win. This Bears matchup is a prime example of a trap game as San Francisco will be beat up and exhausted by Sean McDermott's Bills team.

Miami Dolphins (Week 16 AWAY)

After coming off a loss to the Chicago Bears in week 14, the 49ers take care of business at home versus the Los Angeles Rams before eventually losing to the Miami Dolphins in week 16. This will be their final regular season loss before they head into the playoffs.

The Dolphins finished the 2023 season with an 11-6 record before losing 26-7 in the Wild Card to the Kansas City Chiefs. As long as head coach Mike McDaniel is calling the offensive plays, the Dolphins have a chance due to his creative offensive mind and play-calling ability. In each of their last two years, the Fins struggled down the stretch, losing key playoff positioning and becoming a Wild Card team two years in a row.

Expect a laser-focused Dolphins team, one who will need to end the regular season strong to gain better seeding in the competitive AFC playoff picture.

Final Thoughts:

Predicting a full NFL regular season of games is extremely tough. There will always be games that a team should win but end up losing in questionable fashion. It's the game of football -- the players are human and occasionally the coaching staff makes poor gameplans.

While these are my three 49ers trap games for 2024, I am very interested in hearing which game on the schedule scares you the most?
The opinions within this article are those of the writer and, while just as important, are not necessarily those of the site as a whole.
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