The San Francisco 49ers kick off their 2015 season under the bright lights of Monday Night Football tonight, facing the Minnesota Vikings. It has been a long, crazy offseason for the 49ers, with a new coaching staff, retirements, free agency departures, a trade, and a release to completely numb us over. Just read through the list of every single player transaction of this past offseason to see how crazy it has been.
As each event has happened, it has led to more and more speculation about what we can expect from the 49ers in 2015. Most national media and fans have completely written off the 49ers. I've seen projections as low as 2-14, with some people suggesting this team will be picking No. 1 next year. On the other hand, some 49ers fans are convinced everything will be fine and this team is going to get back to the playoffs in 2015.
I am not here to say such predictions are right or wrong. Rather, they are speculation and nothing more. And that's what makes today so great. Today, the 49ers hit the field and we actually get to have real, honest-to-goodness facts at our disposal. We have four games of preseason action to break down, but we also know those are not real games. Monday night against the Minnesota Vikings, we will begin to finally understand just what this team brings to the table. We will not get final answers to most questions, but the picture will become a little more clear.
I say all this because it has been exhausting trying to speculate on what the 49ers are going to do this year. I get asked frequently what I think the 49ers record will be in 2015. At this point, I have no idea. They have lost some critical components, but they have potential options to replace those components. Will they work out? Will Michael Wilhoite, Quinton Dial, and others replace some all-time greats effectively? I don't know, but I do know we'll know sooner rather than later!
And that more than anything is why I am excited about Week 1. This 49ers team could be good, or this 49ers team could be bad. I don't think either result is a lock. And given what the 49ers did to the Cowboys last year in Week 1, I know that we can't draw too many conclusions from this first game. But at least we'll have some pieces to the puzzle. We may or may not like what the resulting puzzle looks like, but at least we'll start to know.
I don't know what part of the offseason put me over the edge, but I reached a point where I just desperately wanted to get to real regular season football so I could know if Jed York and Trent Baalke's maneuvering will actually work out. Maybe it will, maybe it won't, but either way, we're going to find out. Buckle up, 49ers fans, because it's about to get mighty interesting!