All offseason we talk about the 49ers; we talk about coaches, players, stats, free agents, next years schedule, last years performances, etc. From all this talk, speculation and stat driven hypotheses we all as individual fans begin to picture the 2010 season in our heads. Best case season, worst case season, playoffs hopes.
My goal with this post is to get a feel for the average amount of wins the NinersNation reader thinks the 49ers will have in 2010.
After the jump I will list out the schedule, my (short, since I'm writing this during my lunch break) prediction for each game, my projected 2010 final record, and finally my best and worst case scenarios for the 2010 season.
Week 1: @ Seattle Seahawks - WIN
- Yes, Quest Field is loud (louder than any other place I've ever seen a sports event) and yes the Hawks seem to be slowly figuring out that whole wining games thing again. Despite this, I see the Niners coming out of Seattle with a win in Week 1. Taylor Mays will play (even if only on special teams) like he has something to prove to Carroll, and Mays in that mode should scare anyone. Defense will shut down the lackluster Hawks offense.
Week 2: New Orleans Saints (MNF) - LOSS
- Some (if not a majority) of people here on NinersNation see the 49ers wining this game, I can't buy into it. The Saints defense will struggle containing the 49ers offense, however the 49ers somewhat lacking secondary will have an even tougher time trying to stop the Brees run offensive machine that is the Saints. It will be a close, exciting MNF game, unfortunately I see the Niners coming of this game with their first loss.
Week 3: @ Kansas City Chiefs - WIN
- Week 17 last year the Chiefs spoiled the Broncos season by running them over with Jamaal Charles, the 49ers have to good a run defense to let this happen. The Niners offense, backed up by a stellar defense, propels the Niners to win number two.
Week 4: @ Atlanta Falcons - WIN
- The 49ers were embarrassed by the Falcons last year; revenge is a strong motivator in sports, especially football, and the 49ers know this. This team will not take it lying down like last year, but will gut out a win. Another great, close game, this time with the Niners winning.
Week 5: Philadelphia Eagles - WIN
- The 49ers being at home, in addition to my predicted struggles for Kolb in Philly will combine to get the Niners their first home win.
Week 6: Oakland Raiders - WIN
- Not much needs to be said here. Like the Seahawks, it looks as if the Raiders may be on a slow upswing; the progress will not be enough this early in the rebuilding process. 49ers get a decidedly onesided win in The Stick.
Week 7: @ Carolina Panthers - LOSS
- Gotta admit, haven't heard a lot out of Panther territory this offseason. I feel this may be a team the 49ers underestimate, which is dangerous in this sport. 49ers lose in Carolina, snap a 4-game win streak. Sad face.
Week 8: Denver Broncos - WIN
- Technically a home game, in London (Mr. York says: "You're welcome LondonNiner.") The large travel distance and time zone change will make this game tougher than it needs to be, nonetheless, Niners come out with the win over a struggling Broncos team.
Week 9: BYE
- How weird would it be if the NFL decided to spell this week the "Bi Week"...
Week 10: St. Louis Rams - WIN
- Yay a Rams game! 49ers unexpectedly struggle, but come away with the win.
Week 11: Tampa Bay Buccaneers - WIN
- Third straight win for the 49ers (boy they sure seem to be legit this year) and third straight at home. Again there is not a whole lot to say, the 49ers are clearly the better team on paper, and apparently on the field too.
Week 12: @ Arizona Cardinals (MNF) - LOSS
- BOO! Win streak snapped on the road in Arizona on MNF. Being in the Cardinals house on Monday Night is tough, and it takes its toll on the Niners. A close game once again, but Leinart isn't as bad as we thought (darn him) and the Cards d-line manages to stop a last minute fourth quarter drive by the Niners.
Week 13: @ Green Bay Packers - LOSS
- Well it's our first losing streak of the season. Sucks doesn't it? This game turns into a real struggle for the 49ers defense, trying to keep up with not only the arm of Aaron Rodgers, but the legs too.
Week 14: Seattle Seahawks - WIN
- A still struggling Seahawks team battling injuries (sounds familir doesn't it?) come into The Stick and takes the loss. No massive rush TDs from Gore this time, but two impressive TD grabs from Crabtree helps the Niners win this one (my first statistic prediction!)
Week 15: @ San Diego Chargers - LOSS
- I see a pattern emerging here, the 49ers are still struggling against good passing offenses. Rivers and Jackson (yes I'm assuming he plays) thrive in this game and help the Chargers win this game.
Week 16: @ St. Louis Rams - WIN
- Unlike week 10, they Niners do not struggle against the Rams. Defense puts on a show in their best effort of the season (not tough to do against the Rams) and the offense shows off its weapons to the unhappy St. Louis crowd. Sad face for Rams fans.
Week 17: Arizona Cardinals - WIN
- Now we have you right where we want you! At home. Second year in a row, the 49ers go 5-1 in the division by beating the Cardinals week 17.
So there you have it! My predicted 2010 season has the 49ers going 11-5 and into the playoffs. Happy face.
I said I would be posting my best/worse case scenarios down here as well. Let my above breakdown serve as my best case scenario for 2010, while the following short (I promise!) paragraph will be my worst case scenario.
Same as best case, only with added losses to the Seahawks week 1, the Falcons week 4, the Eagles week 5, and the Broncos week 8. Season ends with the 49ers 6-10, and clearly not in the playoffs.
So, NinersNation, what do you think? Agree with me? Disagree with me? Think I'm brilliant? Or think I'm totally insane? Let me know what you think in the comments, and please vote on the poll!