It is that time of the year again when the games are about to kick off. So with that, I am making my own predictions as to how this season will turn out for the 49ers this year. I am trying to be as objective as possible given what I know now, and not accounting for stuff like injuries and momentum that will greatly affect the season, but is not known at this point.
Week 1: Green Bay Packers
This game should be high-scoring as both offenses are great. Thought the Colin Kaepernick had his way with the Packers defense in the playoffs, I think that the Packers are better prepared this time around to stop him and the read option this time around. But even so, the offense should find success against that rebuilt defense.
Score: 49ers 30, Packers 27
Week 2: at Seattle Seahawks
The 49ers usually play terrible at CenturyLink Field against the 12th Man. I am expecting another such blowout this year given that the Seahawks are better than last year's team, the 49ers are without Michael Crabtree against that secondary, and the 12th Man will be out for even more blood.
Score: Seahawks 35, 49ers 10
Week 3: Indianapolis Colts
The Colts should put up some good numbers with that offense of theirs. But their defense is still a work in progress. The 49ers should be able to put up lots of points against that defense.
Score: 49ers 38, Colts 24
Week 4: at St. Louis Rams
The 49ers are playing with only four days to prepare and having to travel across two time zones. Usually, that spells bad news for the road team. As for the Rams, the 49ers couldn't beat them last year, and they are a much better team after adding Tavon Austin. This is a statement game for the Rams, which is why I can't see them winning under these conditions.
Score: Rams 27, 49ers 20
Week 5: Houston Texans
It's a game that matches two strong defenses. This game is expected to be low-scoring, and this game is a coin flip. I think that with the extended week that it gives the 49ers the advantage over the Texans. Especially given that they are coming off a tough loss against the Rams.
49ers 17, Texans 16
Week 6: Arizona Cardinals
Not much to say about this game. The Cardinals are on the rise, but it's too soon for them to bear any fruit.
49ers 34, Cardinals 10
Week 7: at Tennessee Titans
The Titans are talented, but they are only as good as Jake Locker will allow them to be, and so far it's not very good.
49ers 23, Titans 10
Week 8: at Jacksonville Jaguars
The Jaguars are just terrible, especially with Blaine Gabbert playing the way he is. The 49ers will win this one easily considering that the 49ers are expected to have a bigger presence in London than the Jaguars.
49ers 35, Jaguars 6
Week 9: Bye
Time for the 49ers to rest up sitting on a 6-2 record.
Week 10: Carolina Panthers
The Panthers can score with Cam Newton behind center. The problem is that they just can't stop anybody. The 49ers should put up the points against that defense.
49ers 37, Panthers 20
Week 11: at New Orleans Saints
This game should be a shootout as the Saints have a ton of weapons that Drew Brees is throwing to. That defense is still a work in progress after it couldn't get any worse for them last season. But with Sean Payton back and a brand new scheme, plus the home crowd behind them, this will be a tough game to win.
Saints 35, 49ers 31
Week 12: at Washington Redskins
In the second game of a back-to-back features the battle of read-option passers between Kaepernick and RG3. But it all comes down to talent, and the 49ers are more talented than the Redskins. Either way, it should be close.
49ers 28, Redskins 24
Week 13: St. Louis Rams
The Rams took the first game, but the 49ers have had enough and will this time they will break through after going 0-2-1 against a Rams team coached by Jeff Fisher. Colin Kaepernick finally figures out the Rams this time around.
49ers 24, Rams 13
Week 14: Seattle Seahawks
The Seahawks will have Percy Harvin and Bruce Irvin in this meeting unlike in their week 2 meeting, and even though the 49ers will be the hungrier team having been embarrassed during their last two meetings, talent wins out as the Seahawks have more of it than the 49ers.
Seahawks 20, 49ers 17
Week 15: at Tampa Bay Buccaneers
This is a trap game for the 49ers here as it is sandwiched between two huge games, and this one being an early game, which is usually bad for a West Coast team. But after a tough loss against the Seahawks in which their NFC West hopes were dashed, the 49ers are looking to get back on track any way they can.
49ers 24, Buccaneers 14
Week 16: Atlanta Falcons
In a rematch of the NFC Championship Game to close out Candlestick Park, the 49ers will have their hands full against Matt Ryan and company. The 49ers will have emotion on their side as they want to have their last ever memory at the Stick be one that ends in victory, but the Falcons do just a bit more with all those receiving threats.
Falcons 31, 49ers 27
Week 17: at Arizona Cardinals
The 49ers are getting ready for the postseason, and while the Cardinals will put up more of a fight in this one, they are still not ready to challenge the 49ers.
49ers 24, Cardinals 10
Final Record: 11-5, 2nd in the NFC West, wild card
So in all, I am predicting a record of 11-5 with loss, which is good enough for a wild card. As much as I think that this team is capable of returning to the Super Bowl and win it all, I just think that not having Crabtree for most of the season is going to hurt, and that their secondary will be hurting really badly if the pass rush has an off game. The Seahawks were great last season and they should be even better this season given that it took a half a season to reach their full potential and finished just a half a game back of the 49ers for the NFC West title. Another thing working against the 49ers this season is that they will have the Super Bowl curse on them. But with this team, I can see anywhere from 10-6 to 13-3.