Over a week ago, Maurice Moton of Bleacher Report tried his hand at predicting the win-loss records of all 32 clubs following the 2020 NFL draft. Now that the official 2020 regular season schedule has been released, fellow NFL writer Gary Davenport is taking his turn at foreseeing the future of the league.
It turns out; both authors are high on the 49ers’ chances of repeating their success in 2020 as they each predicted this team to go 12-4 and win the division once again.
“In some respects, staying on top of the mountain can be even harder than climbing it,” said Davenport. “That’s the task awaiting the San Francisco 49ers after they won the NFC West in 2019 and represented the conference in Super Bowl LIV. The Niners at least did a good job of filling holes created by roster attrition this offseason. Rookies Javon Kinlaw and Brandon Aiyuk will replace DeForest Buckner and Emmanuel Sanders, respectively, and the acquisition of Trent Williams makes up for Joe Staley’s retirement.”
No other team in the division truly got worse following this offseason, but only one team got substantially better. The Rams traded away Brandin Cooks and released Todd Gurley but drafted running back Came Akers and wide receiver Van Jefferson. The Seahawks got rid of some offensive linemen and added some defensive pieces in the draft, but also look to be losing Jadeveon Clowney, as well. It’s the Cardinals who took the most apparent steps forward as a team, adding a top-3 wide receiver in the NFL in DeAndre Hopkins and selecting one of the most dynamic players to come out of the draft in a long time in Isaiah Simmons.
The competition will surely be stiff this year, but the Niners are as good as ever at what made them so successful a season ago. They are going to run the football, and they’re going to make quarterbacks cry in the pocket.
Also, we can’t forget that they added one of, if not, the best-left tackle in all of football. If there was ever a player to come in and replace the great Joe Staley, it’s Trent Williams. A record prediction of 12-4 is incredibly within the wheelhouse of the Niners and barring any major setbacks; this should still be the team to beat in the NFC.
I went through the game-by-game predictions from each ESPN writer for the 49ers’ 2020 opponents. Here are the results.
Week 1: Arizona @ San Francisco — WIN
Week 2: 49ers @ Jets — WIN
Week 3: 49ers @ Giants — WIN
Week 4: Eagles @ 49ers — WIN
Week 5: Dolphins @ 49ers — WIN
Week 6: Rams @ 49ers — WIN
Week 7: 49ers @ Patriots — WIN
Week 8: San Francisco @ Seattle — LOSS
Week 9: San Francisco @ Green Bay — WIN
Week 10: 49ers @ Saints — LOSS
Week 11: Bye week
Week 12: 49ers @ Rams — WIN
Week 13: San Francisco @ Buffalo — WIN
Week 14: Washington @ San Francisco — WIN
Week 15: 49ers @ Cowboys — LOSS
Week 16: San Francisco @ Arizona — WIN
Week 17: Seattle @ San Francisco — WIN
There you have it, 13-3, even from an outsiders perspective.