After all the panic and conversation about the 49ers' three-game losing streak, Brock Purdy and San Francisco issued a statement with their play last week similar to Aaron Rodgers’ “R-E-L-A-X” press conference. San Francisco used their bye week to get healthy, and they proved once again that they are a legit contender when they're at full strength.
This weekend, they’ll play host to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, and although the Bucs are coming off a solid defensive performance, I think they’ll struggle to stop the 49ers offense.
As much as San Francisco was desperate for a win last weekend, so were the Buccaneers. Heading into week ten, the Bucs had dropped four straight games, but thanks to a solid performance on both sides of the ball, they were able to come away with a 20-6 win over the Titans. That win was just the second time since their week five bye week that they finished with a positive defensive EPA.
Offensively, the Bucs finished with a positive EPA for the third straight game, and Baker Mayfield threw for 263 yards, the second-highest total he’s produced this season. In order for opponents to fear the Buccaneers' offense, though, it will take a lot more big performances from Mayfield.
Tampa Bay is 21st in offensive DVOA, and they possess the worst run game in the NFL. This weekend, they’ll play a 49ers defense that is coming off their best performance of the year but also one that has proven to have lapses in play.
Since the start of their losing streak, the 49ers secondary has allowed the 7th highest adjusted completion percentage and the 5th highest deep passer rating, according to FantasyPros. San Francisco will certainly allow explosive plays more than one would expect, but they also have a nose for the football that has helped them average 1.9 takeaways per game.
While there may still be some questions about their defense, the offense answered all the questions on how dominant they can be when all their weapons are healthy. Entering this week, San Francisco is 1st in the league in passing DVOA and 3rd in rushing, as they possess a level of explosiveness that can instantly change the momentum of a game.
The 49ers team total is set at 26.5 on BetRivers, and I’ll be taking the over priced at (-134). San Francisco has exceeded this total in six of their nine games this season, and it likely would be more if the injury bug didn’t catch them before their bye week.
This offense, when healthy, is one of the closest things we have in this league to a machine, and it will be incredibly difficult for a Bucs defense that is 24th in yards allowed per game and 32nd in third down conversion percentage to stop them. Since week six, the Bucs' secondary has allowed the highest passer rating and second-highest yards per attempt, per FantasyPros, and this gives the 49ers a considerable advantage, as they lead the league in yards per pass (8.8).
San Francisco scored 34 points last weekend, and they didn’t even need Christian McCaffrey to rush for 100 yards to do so. The one area the Bucs are strong defensively is in the run game, but that doesn’t mean McCaffrey can’t hurt them through the air. In general, the 49ers are converting 3rd downs at the 5th highest percentage and scoring in the red zone at the 6th highest rate, so this is not an offense that will settle for a lot of field goals.
San Francisco 49ers Team Total Over 26.5 (-134) on BetRivers