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A few months ago, I predicted the 49ers would win nine games this season.

I’m starting to think I was wrong.

The Niners currently have two wins. To get to nine, they would have to win seven of their next four games, and that just doesn’t seem doable.

But they definitely can win a few of their next four games. They’ve won two of their past three, they have momentum and a quarterback, Jimmy Garoppolo, who they hope is the future of the franchise.

Here’s a close look at the remaining schedule, and a prediction of how many games the Niners will win.

Week 14: at the Houston Texans (4-8).

If the Texans had rookie quarterback Deshaun Watson and three-time Defensive Player of the Year J.J. Watt, the 49ers would lose.

But, the Texans don’t have them. Watt fractured his tibial plateau against the Kansas City Chiefs on Oct. 8, and Watson tore his ACL during practice on Nov. 2.

With Watson at quarterback, the Texans record was 3-3. He threw 19 touchdown passes and his passer rating was 103.

With his replacement, Tom Savage, the Texans record is 1-5. Savage has thrown five touchdown passes and his passer rating is 71.8.

Big difference.

With Watson, the Texans scored more than 32 points in five consecutive games. With Savage, the Texans have scored more than 16 points just once.

The Texans won’t score enough points to compete. The Niners probably can kick a bunch of field goals and never cross the goal line and still win, just like last week against the Bears.

I’m not saying this will be an easy game. The 49ers still have a bad offensive line, and the Texans have Jadeveon Clowney, one of the best pass rushers in the NFL. He has nine sacks this season.

But even with Clowney, the Texans defense is giving up 25.8 points per game. As long as Clowney doesn’t injure Garoppolo, the 49ers should score 20 points and win.

Week 15: vs. the Tennessee Titans (8-4).

The Titans are tied for first place in the AFC South and have won six of their past seven games. They beat the Texans 24-13 last week.

This will be a tough game for the 49ers.

But not an impossible game. The Titans aren’t dominant like their record suggests. They’ve given up 16 more points than they have scored this season. They have a good record because they’re winning close games against bad teams. Against good teams, the Titans tend to get blown out.

The Niners aren’t a good team. But with Garoppolo, they may be mediocre enough to beat the Titans in a close game at Levi’s Stadium.

The Titans aren’t good on the road. They have scored 18.3 points per game and allowed 25.7 points per game away from their home stadium.

Their quarterback, Marcus Mariota, is especially bad away from home. His road passer rating is 65.5.

If the Niners score 20 points, they will win. I think they’ll score 20.

Week 16: vs. the Jacksonville Jaguars (8-4).

Before the season started, I thought this would be an easy win for the Niners. The Jaguars won just three games in 2016 and their quarterback, Blake Bortles, was awful. His quarterback rating was 78.8.

Bortles still isn’t good. But the rest of the Jaguars are fantastic now.

Their running back, rookie Leonard Fournette, is averaging 82.2 rushing yards per game, which ranks third in the NFL.

And their defense ranks first in fewest points allowed, first in fewest yards allowed, first in fumbles recovered, first in sacks and second in interceptions.

And their defense is even better on the road, where it’s giving up just 11.4 points per game.

The Jaguars have two premier cornerbacks, A.J. Bouye and Jalen Ramsey, and four excellent pass rushers: Yannick Ngakoue, Dante Fowler, Malik Jackson and Calais Campbell.

Campbell leads Jacksonville will 12.5 sacks. He’s a tall interior rusher, similar to DeForest Buckner who has just 1.5 sacks this season.

Why is Campbell so much more productive than Buckner? Here’s why: The Jaguars have two good edge rushers — Ngakoue and Fowler — who force quarterbacks to move forward in the pocket where Campbell is rushing.

The 49ers have no good edge rushers. So, quarterbacks hang back in the pocket and avoid Buckner.

Garoppolo won’t be able to avoid Campbell and the rest of the Jaguars rushers all game. They will hit him and sack him, and the Jaguars will win by 10.

Week 17: at the LA Rams (9-3).

As good as the Jaguars are, the Rams are even better.

The Rams have outscored their opponents by 139 points. That’s the second-largest scoring differential in the NFL behind the Philadelphia Eagles.

The Rams rank first in points scored and seventh in fewest points allowed. Their quarterback, Jared Goff, is on pace to throw for 4,245 yards and 26 touchdown passes. And their running back, Todd Gurley, is on pace to gain 2,002 yards from scrimmage.

The Rams could win the Super Bowl — they’re that good. And they’re only one game ahead of the Seattle Seahawks in the NFC West. So, the Rams have to play hard the rest of the season.

Garoppolo could make this game interesting, but I’m picking the Rams.

That means the 49ers will finish the season with four wins — twice as many as last season.


Grant Cohn covers the 49ers for The Santa Rosa Press Democrat and Pressdemocrat.com. You can reach him at grantcohn@gmail.com.

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