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49ers 2012 Schedule: Picks & Predictions

The NFL released the 2012 schedule yesterday, which means the time has come for mass predictions about results that are still five or more months away. The 2012 NFL Draft is still a week away, which means many teams will see fairly significant additions to their depth charts.

Given these changes, predictions only have so much value at this juncture. Of course, that won't stop us from making such predictions anyway. Given the quiet nature of May, June and much of July, we'll have several sets of predictions. For now, I thought I'd just go with my basic gut instinct.

Last year about this time I put together a gut prediction and somehow came away with 11-5. Among my incorrect picks, I had the 49ers beating the Cowboys at home and the Cardinals on the road. I also had the 49ers losing to Philadelphia, the Giants, Pittsburgh and at Seattle. Most people naturally viewed this as an optimistic view. Who knew I'd come up short?!

For the 49ers 2012 schedule, my initial gut comes out with a 12-4 performance. Mind you, I did not look at who the 49ers' opponents were playing the week before and thus their potential travel concerns. This was simply looking at the matchup below and going with my gut.

There are plenty of games on this schedule that really could fall either way. I went with a 5-1 division record and I would bet good money I will probably be wrong on that. I think the NFC West will be better in 2012, but there are still enough question marks that another strong run through the division is not completely out of the realm of the possible.

Initially I was a bit hesitant on that road game against the Jets, but they are a team that could be in early turmoil. I suppose the Sanchise could figure things out, but if Tim Tebow works his way into the starting lineup by then, his athleticism is negated by the 49ers incredibly athletic defense. I actually wouldn't mind seeing the 49ers defense get a crack at him.

There are at several wins in there that could swing the other way, whether it be the Lions, Giants, Bears, or a couple of the divisional games. One of the big issues for me is that four road games in five weeks with some extensive traveling involved late in the season. For that Saints/Rams back-to-back set, do they stay somewhere around there for the week, or do they travel back to San Francisco in between the games? Things like that could have a sizable impact on how some of these stretches play out.

How do you have the 49ers season playing out at this incredibly early juncture?

Week 1: @ Green Bay Packers - LOSS

Week 2: vs. Detroit Lions - WIN

Week 3: @ Minnesota Vikings - WIN

Week 4: @New York Jets - WIN

Week 5: vs. Buffalo Bills - WIN

Week 6: vs. New York Giants - WIN

Week 7: vs. Seattle Seahawks - WIN

Week 8: @ Arizona Cardinals - LOSS

Week 9: BYE

Week 10: vs. St. Louis Rams - WIN

Week 11: vs. Chicago Bears - WIN

Week 12: @ New Orleans Saints - LOSS

Week 13: @ St. Louis Rams - WIN

Week 14: vs. Miami Dolphins - WIN

Week 15: @ New England Patriots - LOSS

Week 16: @ Seattle Seahawks - WIN

Week 17: vs. Arizona Cardinals -WIN