Late last month, with the help of SB Nation Studios, I was able to put together a fun video breaking down some of the 49ers position battles heading into training camp. While video content can be quickly dated by a few roster moves and injuries, it at least provides some good fodder for discussion.
We've put together a new video, this time addressing the 49ers 2012 schedule, and focusing in on what I thought were the three most pivotal road games. The Studio used video I shot in DC and combined it with a Google Earth tool and some graphics to put together what I think is well done video. You will likely disagree with some of my opinions and predictions, but damn if that video doesn't look solid. You might need to bump the volume a little bit as my voice occasionally drops a bit below the sound connected with it.
I'm always open to suggestions for how to improve these. One thing I'm thinking of doing is using that white board behind me and drawing in the more famous plays in 49ers history. That could be fun. You can view the video down below, and after the jump I'll address some of the pertinent issues I raised.
Some may be surprised that I did not include the New England Patriots game in late December. While I do think every game is "important", the NFC games are most significant. The 49ers want to beat the Patriots, but given how the schedule lays out, I'm just not seeing it being as pivotal as a potential late season divisional showdown. I realize not everybody agrees with me that the Seahawks are dangerous, but I still think that Week 16 game will have some kind of implications. I suppose it might not be divisional, but at the very least the 49ers will hopefully be battling for some kind of playoff positioning within the conference.
I also might have overestimated the final score of the 49ers-Seahawks game. I do think this will be a close game, but is 20+ points realistic in a game involving the dominant 49ers defense and an improving Seahawks defense? Could we see a pair of teams scoring in the teens in this one?
I know folks might have some issues with my predictions of Packers and Saints wins over the 49ers, but I think the bigger point to be taken from those predictions is that I think the games will be close. I could have just as easily picked the 49ers by limited scores, but those are two road games that are going to be brutal.
I actually would argue the 49ers might have a better shot at winning the Packers game than the Saints game. I think the best chance for beating the Packers would be early when the defense still might have a bit of an upper-hand. The offenses could be on track, but maybe they're a little slow to come around. This game will be a tough one no matter what, but let's hope the 49ers defense has the edge.
As for the Saints? I might be in the minority, but I think they use the Bounty stuff in an Us Vs. The World type of deal. There are concerns about coaching with the suspensions, but I kind of think they overcome that. Whether that means they beat our 49ers remains to be seen, but I think we're looking at a great game.