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Brink’s Best Bets: 49ers vs. Cards & All NFL Week 1 Predictions

Gilbert Brink
Sep 4, 2020 at 11:24 AM


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Beginning this week, and following every week this NFL season, I will predict the scores of every NFL game. I'll sum up the results in one sentence for each game while providing an in-depth analysis of the 49ers' match-up. 2020 is set to be a unique season for fans, players, and the NFL as a whole. Quite frankly, I believe we're all just glad to have football back on Sundays after what has been an incredibly difficult year so far. Let's get to the picks!

Houston Texans @ Kansas City Chiefs (-9.5) - Texans' lack of firepower prevents them from keeping up with the champs. Chiefs 27 - Texans 16

Green Bay Packers @ Minnesota Vikings (+2.5) - Rodgers acts his age, Vikings surprise at home. Vikings 23 - Packers 10

Chicago Bears @ Detroit Lions (-3) - Whoever's the Bears QB, he loses to Detroit. Lions 22 - Bears 20

Indianapolis Colts @ Jacksonville Jaguars (+7) - Minshew magic shocks old man Rivers. Jaguars 34 - Colts 30

Las Vegas Raiders @ Carolina Panthers (+2.5) - Boring Bridgewater can't keep up with the Raiders offense. Raiders 27 - Panthers 16

New York Jets @ Buffalo Bills (-6.5) - Bills D smothers the mediocre Jets offense. Bills 16 - Jets 6

Seattle Seahawks @ Atlanta Falcons (+1.5) - Falcons lose a close one late. Seahawks 23 - Falcons 21

Philadelphia Eagles @ Washington Football Team (+6) - Philly's not so special, but good enough to slay Washington. Eagles 17 - Washington 16

Miami Dolphins @ New England Patriots (-6.5) - Dolphins closed 2019 beating the Pats, and they open 2020 the same way. Dolphins 26 - Patriots 24

Cleveland Browns @ Baltimore Ravens (-8) - Mayfield turns it over, Ravens make the Browns pay. Ravens 27 - Browns 20

Los Angeles Chargers @ Cincinnati Bengals (+3.5) - Burrow is buried by Chargers defense. Chargers 19 - Bengals 13

Tampa Bay Buccaneers @ New Orleans Saints (+3.5) - Saints porous defense can't stop Brady. Buccaneers 35 - Saints 24

Dallas Cowboys @ Los Angeles Rams (+2.5) - Rams defense gets cooked by Dallas' passing game. Cowboys 45 - Rams 20

Pittsburgh Steelers @ New York Giants (+4) - Ben should have retired with Eli. Giants 31 - Steelers 16

Tennessee Titans @ Denver Broncos (-1.5) - Sorry John, Drew Lock ain't that guy. Titans 23 - Broncos 17

Cary Edmondson-USA TODAY Sports


Arizona Cardinals @ San Francisco 49ers (-7)


Why SF Wins: For beginners, the 49ers are a better football team on paper. The defending NFC champs are loaded with talent, and the Arizona Cardinals are a 5-win football team. In 2 starts vs. Arizona last season, Jimmy Garoppolo threw for 741 yards, 8 TDs, and 2 interceptions. Jimmy looked stellar in each start, truly dismantling what was a bad Cardinals secondary. During the offseason, the Cards added versatile defender Isaiah Simmons in the first round of the draft. Simmons is a slash player, one who the Cards will deploy to stop superstar TE George Kittle. He should ask newly paid S Buddha Baker how that will work out for him. The 49ers simply have too much firepower on offense for the Cardinals to account for on defense. If they can keep Garoppolo upright, he will find one of his many targets exploiting the Cards defense regularly. The 49ers will win this game if they can keep their foot on the pedal on offense while slowing down Cards QB Kyler Murray on defense.

Why SF Loses: If the 49ers defense had one clear weakness it 2019, it was defending running quarterbacks. Cards QB Kyler Murray played well against San Francisco in 2019 and this year he has a new target to dish the ball to in WR DeAndre Hopkins. While playing for Houston, Hopkins was one of the very best wide receivers in the NFL. The 49ers cornerbacks were last seen being beaten in the 4th quarter by the entire Chiefs pass-catching crew. If Hopkins and Murray can catch fire, and their running game can take advantage of the absence in the 49ers defensive line left by the departure of 49ers 2019 team MVP DeForest Buckner, their offense will give them a good chance to steal this game. The Cards will need much more than a strong offensive performance to best the 49ers. If the Cards' woeful defense could put pressure on the 49ers' interior offensive line, it'll make it hard for Garoppolo to find all of those weapons. A huge offensive breakout and a stout inside pass rush are what the Cardinals will need to pull off this upset.

Prediction: The 49ers offense is primed to take off in 2020. This game will serve as the launch point. Garoppolo's confidence vs Arizona is at an 11. New contributors WR Brandon Aiyuk and TE Jordan Reed will play big roles in this game, displaying just how lethal this offense can be. The Cardinals will hang around, but DE Nick Bosa and an elite pass rush will eventually force Murray into a key mistake to close this one out. 49ers 30 - Cardinals 20
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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