San Francisco 49ers

49ers quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo could benefit from Texans’ red-zone defense

San Francisco 49ers quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo (10) throws against the Chicago Bears on Dec. 3 in Chicago.
San Francisco 49ers quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo (10) throws against the Chicago Bears on Dec. 3 in Chicago. AP

Sunday’s 49ers game

Opponent: at Houston

Time: 10 a.m.

Line: Texans by 3

Records: 49ers 2-10, Texans 4-8

TV/radio: FOX (Dick Stockton, Mark Schlereth), 680, 1320

Three things to watch


The 49ers’ last-second win against the Bears last week masked that they were 0-5 on touchdowns when they were inside Chicago’s 20-yard line. The red zone is perhaps the toughest aspect of an offense for a new quarterback to master, and it will be interesting to see if Jimmy Garoppolo makes strides this week. Chicago’s defense is fourth-best in red-zone scoring; Houston ranks 19th.


Rookie cornerback Ahkello Witherspoon has looked stronger and more confident with every start. He’ll have a challenging matchup against aggressive and physical Texans receiver DeAndre Hopkins, who ranks second in the NFL in both targets (141) and receiving yards (1,084).


The Texans have allowed 38 sacks this season, the sixth most in the NFL and one more than the 49ers have allowed. It should give the 49ers defenders a chance to increase their sack totals. DeForest Buckner, who had six sacks as a rookie last year, has just 1 1/2 so far this season.

Injury report


Questionable: T Trenton Brown (shoulder)


Out: RB Alfred Blue (concussion), T Julien Davenport (shoulder), LB Jelani Jenkins (concussion), WR Braxton Miller (concussion)

Questionable: G Xavier Su’a-Filo (groin)





Sept. 10

vs. Carolina

L, 23-3

Sept. 17

at Seattle

L, 12-9

Sept. 21

vs. L.A. Rams

L, 41-39

Oct. 1

at Arizona

L, 18-15

Oct. 8

at Indianapolis

L, 26-23

Oct. 15

at Washington

L, 26-24

Oct. 22

vs. Dallas

L, 40-10

Oct. 29

at Philadelphia

L, 33-10

Nov. 5

vs. Arizona

L, 20-10

Nov. 12

vs. N.Y. Giants

W, 31-21

Nov. 26

vs. Seattle

L, 24-13

Dec. 3

at Chicago

W, 15-14





at Houston

10 a.m.

Dec. 17

vs. Tennessee

1:25 p.m.

Dec. 24

vs. Jacksonville

1:05 p.m.

Dec. 31

at L.A. Rams

1:25 p.m.

Matt Barrows: @mattbarrows, read more about the team at