After two weeks of football, one can start to prognosticate a little more about the rest of the schedule. Injuries have occurred and teams have started to show what kind of talent they bring to the table. For a team like the 49ers, we know the offense is improved from last year. Of course, I don't think any of us can be sure exactly how improved. Personally, I think Seattle's defense is good and thus putting up 26 points (Bamm Bamm INT return excluded) is a very good sign.
Now that we know a little bit more, I thought I'd go back through the schedule with some updated predictions. All the way back in April I made initial predictions. Then in July I discussed games the team had to win if they wanted to contend for the playoffs.
Am I being remotely realistic here?
9/21 - vs. Detroit - WIN - I've predicted victory from the beginning and will continue to do so. In Know Thy Enemy I predicted a 26-24 victory, but now I'd be highly disappointed by such a close victory
9/28 - @ New Orleans - LOSS - This game got a little more winnable with the injury to Marques Colston. He might be back by this game, but even so he should be a little rusty. Of course, our problem with New Orleans has always been Reggie Bush.
10/5 - vs. New England - WIN - This is no gimme because of a stout Patriots defense, but the offense is no longer crazy fiersome. The injury to Brady could be a key to the 49ers making the playoffs.
10/12 - vs. Philadelphia - LOSS - They should have some of their other receivers back, but DeSean Jackson is helping them forget the likes of Reggie Brown and Kevin Curtis. Of course that will change if he repeats this OR this.
10/19 - @ New York Giants - LOSS - While I never thought the 49ers would win this game, I did not expect the Giants
10/26 - vs. Seattle - WIN - In April I actually picked the 49ers to win at Seattle and lose at home. Even though the Seahawks receivers should be getting healthy by this point, I think the 49ers can pull out the season sweep. Seattle is not to be slept on though.
11/10 - @ Arizona - LOSS - I think this is an eminently winnable game, but I just have this feeling we lose a tight one.
11/16 - vs. St. Louis - WIN - St. Louis is awful. No excuses for losing this game.
11/23 - @ Dallas - LOSS - This will be more competitive than previously expected, but Dallas is the best team in the NFC right now, and maybe even the league as a whole.
11/30 - @ Buffalo - LOSS - Buffalo is going to give New England a run for their money. I think this will be a close game, but Buffalo post-Thanksgiving will be a tough place for a California team to win.
12/7 - vs. New York Jets - WIN - Brett Favre or not, the 49ers are better than the Jets. It should be interesting seeing Favre square off against Favre-Lite (a possible JTO analogy)
12/14 - @ Miami - WIN - The Dolphins aren't too awful but they're a long way from being good. No excuses.
12/21 - @ St. Louis - WIN - See the 11/16 Rams game.
12/28 - vs. Washington - WIN - This puts the 49ers at 9-7. Washington is going to be a tough team this year, but they haven't really wowed me to this point. This could be the game that gets the 49ers into the playoffs (of course being SOL on the tiebreaker with Arizona might end that hope).
I don't think I'm being entirely crazy with these picks. 9-7 is still a relatively ambitious projection, but considering the schedule, I don't think any of the victory projections will make you say, "Well that's just silly." Of course we still need to wait and see if the offense puts together consistent back-to-back outings, but I like where things are headed for now. Am I out of my mind?