San Francisco 49ers
NFL Free Pick
When Dallas visits San Francisco in Week 4 it will be a matchup of two teams 1-Game off pace in their respective NFC divisions. The Cowboys are a 2 point favorite as they hit the road.
Dak Prescott’s beginning the the NFL season has not been as proficient as his preseason was — and for good reason. Prescott is seeing each team’s top unit defensively for the majority of each Game, rather than a heavy mixture of starters and backups as he was seeing in the preseason. It’s not that Prescott has been bad, it’s just that people had very high expectations for him after seeing the eye-popping numbers he put up in a few weeks against sub-par competition.
Prescott has completed two thirds of his passes for just over 250 yards per Game, with one touchdown and no interceptions. He’s also run for two touchdowns on only seven attempts. So, while he’s been good, if people haven’t realized yet, it’s time to temper expectations with the rookie out of Mississippi State.
An area where there has been slow progress for Prescott has been finding the right chemistry with his receivers. Cole Beasley has found his place early in the offense with Prescott. He has 20 receptions for 213 yards in three Games. The imbalaNCe comes when looking at Dez Bryant. He only has 11 receptions through the first three Games for 150 yards. Bryant has been targeted 23 times, but that just means the connections are not being made. Bryant is simply a player that Prescott must get the ball to. The Cowboys may very well be 3-0 and tied for the division lead with Philadelphia had Bryant been more of a factor to this point.
Ezekiel Elliott seems to be finding his way as well. He is coming off his best performance in his rookie campaign. Elliott ran for 140 yards — the second-most rushing yards in the league in Week 3 — on 30 touches against Chicago. He is averaging 3.9 yards per carry on the season. Watch out for Elliott against San Francisco’s 23rd-ranked rush defense as they allow over 120 rushing yards per Game.
As much as you can for the potential of the Dallas offense, there’s just as little to say about the San Francisco offense. Blaine GAbbert has been completely uninspiring. He’s completing barely 55% of his passes for under 200 yards per Game. GAbbert has also thrown the same number of picks as he has touchdowns (3).
The receivers have not done anything to help out. Jeremy Kerley and Torrey Smith have been the top wideouts. They only have 114 and 103 yards, respectively. There’s just nothing to take note of when looking at the presentation, or lack thereof, this passing Game gives.
Carlos Hyde has been something of a bright spot. He’s run for 225 yards and Four touchdowns on a 3.9 yards per carry average. There’s just simply a limit, though, on how much anyone can expect Hyde to carry — literally and figuratively — this offense.
What can be said for San Francisco is that they have been opportunistic with their defense. They’ve forced eight turnovers — good for third-best in the league. But, that’s where a lot of their scoring has come from to this point. Unless they force Elliott into more fumbles or Prescott throws interceptions that he hasn’t through three Games, don’t expect San Francisco to win this one. Cowboys -2