Here we go again. We’re halfway into January and I’m going to put my bold predictions for 2019. If you remember, we did this exercise in 2018, and I went 0 for 10.
One big, fat, goose egg. Thanks for nothing 2018.
The good part is, I have some faith 2019 will not be near as evil to me.
What are your predictions? Put them in the comments. I’ll make sure to reset this article in 2020 so we can look at what all of us thought would happen. I’ll make sure to contact some of you to give me your thoughts on what happened too.
1: C.J. Beathard will not be on the roster by Week 1
I wrote on this before saying the 49ers may want to part ways with their backup quarterback. They claim there will be a backup competition, but that’s nonsense. Nick Mullens has shown he’s a much better choice for Kyle Shanahan’s offense and a far capable backup. Given Jimmy Garoppolo’s injury, the 49ers will be wise to hold onto Mullens, even if he can bring a haul.
That being said:
2: Reports will come that several teams are interested in trading for Mullens prior to the 2019 draft
Get your popcorn. Nick Mullens won’t be on the trade block, but there are going to be extensive sources and reports that teams are trying to get a deal going anyways. The 49ers are going to go the Nick Foles route and keep him around. Until Garoppolo shows he’s back at full speed from that knee injury, dealing Mullens, even for first round picks (remember, he’s got a very team-friendly UDFA contract) just wouldn’t be a good idea.
Ok, one more QB prediction:
3: There will be a quarterback controversy before the end of the 2019 season, Garoppolo will end the controversy
Garoppolo will struggle. Don’t misunderstand, he’s a great quarterback and I think he’s going to take the 49ers places as the starter and stay that way. He’s still going to struggle in a couple games. This will trigger the overreactions and people wondering if Mullens should get a chance. Just as quickly as people wonder if it’s Nick Mullens time, Garoppolo will show everyone he’s Superman and quiet everything.
4: The 49ers will beat the Seahawks in Seattle, by two touchdowns
Dammit Jimmy G, don’t get injured this time. 49ers, I’m going on a 2018 prediction again. Don’t let me down.
5: Jerick McKinnon and Matt Breida will have a near 50/50 split on carries (give or take 10 carries)
The one blessing in disguise with McKinnon’s injury is the fact that it let us see Breida in action and realize he’s not just a change of pace back. We have our own Tevin Coleman/Devonta Freeman combo in San Francisco, and it’s even better than that duo Shanahan had in Atlanta (and that’s saying something). McKinnon may be the “starter” but he’s a two headed dragon with Breida. To put it another way, Georgia Southern owns the 49ers’ backfield.
6: DeForest Buckner will finish 2019 with more than 15 sacks
Hooooo boy. I’m really pushing the chips in on this one. The 49ers need an edge rusher. Get that and Buckner will be able to roam freely. The 49ers defensive line is not near as bad as some would want to believe. I blame some of their issues on recently fired coach Jeff Zgonina and just not having enough talent on the edge. Solomon Thomas also has a chance now with an edge-rusher. Let’s see what that piece does here.
7: 49ers will have five or more players with Pro Bowl mentions (starting, alternate, etc.)
The 49ers’ roster is much better than their record indicates. This is the offseason where they can be competitive. Having their starting quarterback return will help also. They will turn in some Pro Bowl caliber players this year. Buckner and George Kittle are two of my obvious picks, but I wouldn’t count out Mike McGlinchey.
8: George Kittle will break Zach Ertz’s reception record for at tight end (116)
Do that and we aren’t talking about one of the best tight ends in the league, we’re talking about the 49ers having yet another GOAT at a position. This would give him the yardage record and the reception record? Even if those are broken afterwards, in 2019 no less, the fact Kittle got them says enough. Given how they spread the ball around, I’m not 100 percent confident in this, but I think the only way for Kittle to top what was a coming out season is to get that record.
9: 49ers will turn in a top-10 overall defense at season’s finish
The lack of edge rusher HURT the team this year. Get that and the secondary should be much improved. Fred Warner had a rookie season that gave nothing but improvement as games went on and the defense is his in 2019. Remember, he took Reuben Foster’s role at the MIKE spot long before Foster was released and the coaching staff let him learn by screwing up. I expect Warner will be taking a big leadership role for 2019 and be a focal point of that defense along with Richard Sherman.
10: Fooch will shave his beard
Fooch has assured me it will not happen and I’m wasting my time. But a man can still predict. Besides, what was it? Ah yes, any idiot can guess a few hundred times and be right once.
What are your predictions?
Put them in the comments and I’ll be sure to pick some out on who was right/wrong. We’ll revisit this in a year. Hopefully I don’t have a big fat 0 at the end of this. See you all then.