ESPN ran a feature yesterday with predictions for the upcoming season. Dallas is the overwhelming favorite to win the NFC, while San Diego, New England and Indianapolis are the AFC favorites. Personally, I see now way in hell the Chargers win the AFC as long as Norv Turner is in charge. I'm still amazed he won multiple playoff games last year.
However, let's look at their predictions as related to the 49ers. One of the great powers of the Internet is the fact that this information will live on for quite some time. If somebody makes a completely assinine prediction, we'll be able to mock them for the foreseeable future. Which brings us to ESPN's predictions about the 49ers upcoming season.
One positive prediction to come out of this? Seth Wickersham predicts Patrick Willis will win Defensive Player of the Year. Not quite as big as predicting a 49ers division title, but I'll take it for now.
I realize the 49ers are not exactly high on the national media's radar. People know Martz is in town and hear about J.T. O'Sullivan and that's about it. Are the Arizona Cardinals clearly that much better than the 49ers? Maybe I'm wearing blinders, but I think they certainly have their share of holes. I'm certainly not saying the 49ers are clearly going to win the division title, but is second place all that unlikely?
One final tidbit from the ESPN preview. Scouts Inc. came up with every team's favorite play. For the 49ers, based on the Mike Martz offense, the play is the Play-Action Deep In. This play has Isaac Bruce lined up to the left running a go route, while Vernon Davis is lined up as the tight end and runs a skinny post, splitting the safeties. Arnaz Battle is lined up in the left slot and runs a go route as well, while Bryant Johnson runs a pattern over the middle of the field. A play-action with Frank Gore later and J.T. O'Sullivan finds Johnson across the middle for a nice gain. Now that Johnson is on the field again, keep an eye out for this tonight against San Diego.
So, anywyas, hopefully in a few months we'll be revisiting this and laughing so hard our sides hurt.