Sunday, 1 p.m. ET, NRG Stadium. TV: FOX, Dick Stockton,Mark Schlereth, Shannon Spake (field reporter).
4th regular-season meeting. 49ers lead series, 2-1. The home team has won all three meetings, including the 49ers' 34-3romp in 2013 in the most recent head-to-head. The Texans prevailed the only time the teams have met in Houston: 24-21 in October 2009.The teams have never met in the postseason.
KEYS TO THE GAME:
Now that Jimmy Garoppolo has a fairly successful first start under his belt (293 passing yards in a win vs. Chicago last week), it's safe to say the 49ers have the edge at quarterback. When's the last time they were able to say that?
The Texans are far weaker against the pass than against the run, so the 49ers should come out winging it and trust that Garoppolo will outgun Tom Savage.
Of course, the 49ers would like to score touchdowns instead of five field goals. It would help to get some short drives, which could happen against the turnover-prone Texans. Just two teams have more giveaways than the Texans' 23.
As the injuries continue to pile up in this unfortunate season, theTexans are just trying to find bodies to fill out their roster.They lost six more players to injuries of varying severity last week.
MATCHUPS TO WATCH:
--49ers QB Jimmy Garoppolo vs. Texans CB Kareem Jackson. There's a reason Jackson ranks second on the Texans in tackles: The man he's guarding tends to catch a lot of passes. The Texans have given up the 11th-most passing yards and third-most touchdown passes this season, so Garoppolo has a chance to be even better in his second start than in his first.
--Texans WR DeAndre Hopkins vs. 49ers CB Ahkello Witherspoon. No team is more predictable in its passing game than the Texans. But it doesn't matter because most defenses can't stop Hopkins, who already has surpassed 1,000 yards with four games remaining. The rookie Witherspoon will be tested like never before this week.
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