The NFL announced the 2017 regular season schedule on Thursday evening, and that’s one more marker down en route to the upcoming season. The draft takes place next week, and then it’s on to OTAs, the dead period in June and July, and then training camp. The Kyle Shanahan era of regular season football is fast approaching!
Plenty is going to change between now and September 10 when the 49ers host the Carolina Panthers. We’ll see draft additions, some trades, and more free agency moves around the league. But that won’t stop us from going out on a limb and putting together a first round of way-too-early predictions.
It’s been a rough couple of years for the 49ers, and my predictions have suffered accordingly. Two years ago, I predicted a 10-6 record and the 49ers finished 5-11. Last year, I predicted a 7-9 record and the 49ers finished 2-14. Five games off both times!
This time around, I’m going with a 6-10 prediction. I’ve gone from ten wins to seven wins to six wins. Some will still think this is overly optimistic, and there might be some who will think it’s pessimistic. Either way, these are mostly gut considerations. We'll be doing plenty more predictions the rest of the offseason.
Week 1: vs. Carolina Panthers WIN - The 49ers have not lost an opener since 2010.
Week 2: @ Seattle Seahawks LOSS - Kyle Shanahan gets introduced to the Seahawks rivalry
Week 3: vs. Los Angeles Rams WIN - No Jeff Fisher changes this up. It’ll be fascinating seeing these two incredibly young coaches square off.
Week 4: @ Arizona Cardinals LOSS - The Cardinals are a tough team to figure out. If Carson Palmer rebounds, they could compete for the division, but if Palmer hits the wall, they could go south in a hurry.
Week 5: @ Indianapolis Colts LOSS - Frank Gore’s first game against his former team.
Week 6: @ Washington WIN - I don’t expect many road wins, but Kyle Shanahan against the team that feuded with him and his dad? I’ll call for the upset.
Week 7: vs. Dallas Cowboys LOSS - I’m really curious to see how Dak Prescott does in year two.
Week 8: @ Philadelphia Eagles LOSS - Speaking of quarterbacks in year two, Carson Wentz will be interesting to track.
Week 9: vs. Arizona Cardinals WIN - NFC West games are mostly unpredictable (except the 49ers up in Seattle). I think the 49ers split with Arizona and LA.
Week 10: vs. New York Giants LOSS - The Giants added Brandon Marshall, and that offense could be a tough one.
Week 11: BYE
Week 12: vs. Seattle Seahawks LOSS - When will the 49ers be back anywhere near competitive with Seattle?
Week 13: @ Chicago Bears WIN - Props to Mike Glennon for cashing in, but I am not expecting much of a season from the Bears.
Week 14: @ Houston Texans LOSS - Who will be the Texans quarterback this season, and by this game?
Week 15: vs. Tennessee Titans LOSS - The Titans went 9-7 last season
Week 16: vs. Jacksonville Jaguars WIN - Will the Jaguars start to get things turned around post-Bradley? If the 49ers finish up worse than I am predicting, this could end up being a big draft pick game
Week 17: @ Los Angeles Rams LOSS - Wrapping up in LA on New Years Eve (the Chargers will also be playing at home that weekend). Will Jared Goff still be in the starting lineup?