With the NFL offseason is officially over, each team site gave Fooch one reason their team would go over the Vegas projected win total, as well as why the team would fall short of that number.
For our FanPulse results a little over a month ago, Niners Nation was one of the few team blogs to have more than 15% of the votes select the team the under. Good on every San Francisco 49ers fan that participated in the poll.
Here is why I think the 49ers will go over eight wins:
Why over: Health. Jimmy Garoppolo plays a full season to his potential. George Kittle somehow gets better. Dante Pettis takes the next step, and the stable of running backs are too much for defenses to handle. The 49ers added two receivers early on in the draft. If Kyle Shanahan thinks you can play, you probably can. If the team can get early contributions from them, they’ll go over.
On defense, the complete makeover of the front four leads to turnovers and short fields for the offense. Dee Ford is as good as the team thinks, and Nick Bosa has a superb rookie year. The defense isn’t lights out but they are streaky and get timely stops. With a “last place schedule,” the 49ers are able to fight for a playoff berth.
Health should go without saying, but getting off to a fast start will be crucial for the 49ers. The Niners don’t have to be the ‘85 Bears. Those days of football are long gone. Get off the field on third downs, and hold teams to field goals. They do that, and this should be a successful year.
Here is what I said for the under eight wins:
Why under: While the pass-rush improves, the secondary doesn’t take a step forward. The growing pains continue opposite of Richard Sherman. The injury bug bites the secondary again and players are forced to play that shouldn’t be playing. The team regrets not selecting anyone in the secondary until Day 3 of the draft. The linebackers are exposed in coverage and the defense can’t get off the field. Offensively, gunslinger Jimmy makes more mistakes than you’d like in a full season. The interior offensive line’s play takes a step back and that’s a big reason for the down year on offense. Mike Person reverts back to the play that’s led him to be a journeymen.
Lack of consistency is my biggest worry heading into 2019. There are plenty of positions with question marks. There are enough “what if” scenarios that could lead to the 49ers winning fewer than eight games.
I will always trust an offense that has Kyle Shanahan calling the plays. He can hide weaknesses and maximize strengths with the best of them. Added talent at the skill positions will make life easier for Jimmy G. Will the interior offensive line bounce back from injury and a year of mediocre play? We’ll find out.