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Week 5 Game Preview: 49ers vs. Texans


Both the San Francisco 49ers and the Houston Texans are currently unhappy 2-2 teams – who both happen to be recent victims of the unbeaten Seahawks – but with a date against one another tonight, one of them will climb to a winning record, where most bettors expected them to be before the season began.

The Niners got back on the winning track last week over the Rams, a game certainly instilled some much-needed confidence in the defending NFC champs and the preseason Super Bowl favorites as they enter their tangle with a talented and highly-touted Texans squad.

Meanwhile, the Texans could be a bit deflated after giving up a 20-3 lead against Seattle at home last week, losing in overtime 23-20. Houston has now lost its last two and with the Colts and Titans playing well in the AFC South, it knows it’s not a playoff shoo-in this season and needs to avoid a prolonged losing skid.

To put an end to their recent woes, the Texans will need to establish the run early and win time of possession. With Arian Foster and Ben Tate running the ball well, it seems they would be able to, but rushing yards likely won’t come easy against a 49ers team that held the Rams to just 18 yards on the ground a week ago without the services of Patrick Willis or Aldon Smith.

Offensively, the Niners will probably take the same approach as the Texans, especially after pounding the Rams with their punishing ground attack. Frank Gore looked like his old self last week, rushing for 153 yards, which was more than his totals from the previous three games combined.

Considering both teams are built to run the ball and conversely stop the run, the game will likely be decided by who protects the ball and makes the most of redzone opportunities. While both teams have turned the ball over more than they would have liked to so far this season, San Francisco seems to be less turnover-prone and should be even more sure-handed at home this week.

Even still, this Sunday night showdown should be one of the closest games of the day. The Texans have enough weapons to compete with one of the NFC’s best, but may fall just short tonight. Look for Houston to cover +7, but for the San Fran to earn its third win of the year.

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