5. San Francisco 49ers
Votes: 5-9-5-10-4 | Avg: 6.6 | Median: 5
The range of projected NFC rankings jumps beginning with the 49ers, as the six spots separating highest and lowest votes reflects divergent expectations.
“They’ve got a good (offensive) line, I think they have a great pass rush,” one voter said. “They have an average secondary and some good playmakers on defense. They have average skill, but part of the problem with their skill is, and this is the problem with their whole roster, yeah, when these guys are healthy, they are good, but they are hurt a lot.”
“If they go with Jimmy, then they’re probably going to end up competing for a playoff spot,” one voter said. “If it’s Trey (Lance) and he ascends, then they are going to be competing for a division title. If it’s Trey and he’s not that good, then build for next year.”
It would get worse. Joe Cool was turning into Joe Frigid.
By halftime, his teeth were chattering, his body temperature had fallen to 96 degrees and all color had drained from his face. While the team doctor tried to get it back into normal range by plying him with chicken bouillon, Notre Dame opened the third quarter with its third-string quarterback.
He struggled against the fierce wind as Houston opened up a 34-12 lead. Notre Dame’s players and coaches kept nervously looking toward the tunnel entrance to see if Montana would emerge. With a little more than a minute left in the third quarter, he finally did.
Aaron Banks, though the 49ers picked him in this year’s second round, was still a player who’d struggled mightily in his preseason debut and had just returned to practice Wednesday after missing about two weeks with a shoulder sprain.
Brendel allowed only one pressure in 70 pass-blocking snaps during the preseason, per TruMedia. He also registered high run-blocking marks while playing 130 snaps at center, five snaps at right guard and three snaps at left guard.
“He can help us at guard on game day, too,” Shanahan said Wednesday. “We know his area of expertise is center and I feel very good about him there. But just trying him out through camp and what we’ve done with him in the preseason, he showed he could help at guard, too. And that’s why it was important to be one of our nine that we kept.”
Kevin Patra: 49ers over Bills. No rookie QB has ever made it to a Super Bowl. That all changes, and then some. With Trey Lance unleashed in Kyle Shanahan’s offense, the Niners blast past the Bills in a shootout that leaves Buffalo once again a game shy in the Lombardi quest.
Adam Rank: 49ers over Browns: People seem to forget how good the 49ers were in 2019, when they were last fully operational. Now they are back to avenge their previous Lombardi loss. Tough for the Browns, whose first Super Bowl Sunday ends in defeat.
Gregg Rosenthal: 49ers over Ravens. Trey Lance becomes the first rookie quarterback to lead his team to a Super Bowl title after Fred Warner tips Lamar Jackson’s potential game-winning throw at the buzzer.
The council voted 5-2 to terminate Doyle with no cause. After his removal, Doyle told the San Francisco Chronicle, “Jed York wanted my head on a silver platter, and he got it.” (SFGATE and the San Francisco Chronicle are both owned by Hearst but operate independently of one another.)