The 49ers ended the 2017 season with quite a bit of momentum and expectations of a deep run into the 2018 post season. They found their franchise quarterback in Jimmy Garoppolo and have built a wall to protect their investment, adding free agent center Weston Richburg and drafting right tackle Mike McGlinchey. The offseason focused on offensive acquisitions after several past first round picks were spent on the defense.
Expectations were low in 2017, even with a promising new head coach and general manager. The worst start to a season in franchise history, at 0-9, was below everyone’s expectations but no one even blinked. Ending the season winning six of their last seven games, however, has changed the landscape completely. Now expectations are anything but low for the sophomore seasons of Kyle Shanahan and John Lynch.
At this point in the offseason everyone is undefeated and all teams have hopes of heading to the Super Bowl but what are realistic expectations for the 49ers? Garoppolo has yet to lose a start but how long can he really remain undefeated? What would be an acceptable record for the fan base?
Seven wins or less
While it’s still one win more than last season and ultimately would be “an improvement” it would still be looked at as a failure to most fans. Unless something catastrophic happens, (for instance if the injury list is the same as or worse than last season) this record would be considered a disappointment.
Vegas oddsmakers have the over under at 8.5 and they usually know what they are talking about. Eight wins seems like a realistic expectation but could that be conservative? The Rams did beef up their roster quite a bit and the Seahawks are always challenge even though members of their Legion of Boom have since departed, including Richard Sherman who now dons the red and gold.
Nine to ten wins
This seems like the best case scenario. There are many new faces on the 49ers roster and an extensive playbook to learn. The team still has holes to fill on the roster including a game changing pass rusher. The team is very young overall and that can lead to inconsistencies on the field, but again there is so much potential on the roster.
Eleven wins or more
This would pretty much cause euphoria for the red and gold, not to mention nearly guarantee a trip to the postseason. Eleven or more wins would also likely award them the most improved franchise and make Kyle Shanahan and John Lynch top candidates for coach and executive of the year.
How do you think the 49ers end up at the end of the 2018 season? How many wins will it take for you to not be disappointed? What is realistic? How much should we all temper our expectations?