There is much optimism for the San Francisco 49ers upcoming 2018 season. Riding off their five-game winning streak to close 2017, expectations are high that they can get off to a good start.
Just one problem: The beginning of their schedule is kind of brutal. At Minnesota, vs. Detroit,, at Los Angeles (Chargers), at Kansas City; There’s a good chance the 49ers wind up at 4-4 to get through the first half.
Fortunately, defensive coordinator Robert Saleh has no problem with that. 49ers.com reporter Joe Fann chatted with Saleh earlier this offseason, and they talked about the team’s strong finish and attempting to break out this year. Saleh brought up what happened if the 49ers were to struggle with this schedule:
“When a team is trying to make the jump, the first half of the year they make the jump is a beast. You’re going to win and lose some crazy games,” Saleh said. “I feel like in the second half of the year, it’s going to take off again.”
The 49ers will definitely be a part of these crazy games. I’ve already said that I think the Green Bay game could come down to who has the ball at the 01:00 mark in the 4th quarter and I don’t doubt there are other games that can end just that way too. If the 49ers are sitting at .500, Saleh went on to tell Fann he’s not too worried:
“If we are sitting at 4-4, don’t be surprised. But the run is going to happen,” Saleh said confidently. “There’s no doubt in my mind that the end-of-season run is going to happen. It’s just about how quickly we can get that run started.”
Fann brought up some great comparisons of teams who struggled a bit out of the gate and wound up heading into the playoffs. Most notably the 2016 Atlanta Falcons, the 2012 Seattle Seahawks and the 2017 Jacksonville Jaguars.
Given that Shanahan was on the aforementioned Falcons squad, he definitely knows how to turn a switch and get things going. It’s just a matter of “when” rather than “if.”