Way-too-early 2022 Season Predictions (Cause It's Fun!)

Here we are, the agonizing stretch of the offseason between the schedule release and training camp when there is absolutely nothing to talk about except for sourceless punditry (see: Trey Lance's arm fitness). Anyways, this is why way-too-early season predictions are even a thing.

So here's mine:


Now here's the actual thing:

Week 1 - @ Chicago Bears - WIN 49ers 29, Bears 14

I have the Niners opening the season with a win here, simply because da Bears gonna Bear. I think the offense starts their first season under Lance a bit clunky, which will be most present in this Bears game. I think Lance throws a touchdown but the defense moreso carries the win in this game. Defense scores a touchdown sometime this game. Justin Fields and Co. finally score a TD in garbage time.

Week 2 - vs. Seattle Seahawks - WIN 49ers 21, Seahawks 16

I have the Niners winning in their home opener vs. Seattle as well. This game could be a blow-out if Lance starts getting the kinks out of his game early, but I predict that the Seahawks will be a little more competitive in this game. Lance leads the offense on a 2:00 drill to score the game-winning touchdown.

Week 3 - @ Denver Broncos (SNF) - LOSS Broncos 27, 49ers 24

The 49ers' first loss in 2022 comes against Denver. Lance shows a lot of improvement in this game and goes toe-to-toe with the Goat Diddler, but, as much as I hate to say it, Russ edges Lance out and the Broncos win by sneaking in a game-winning field goal.

Week 4 - vs. Los Angeles Rams (MNF) - LOSS Rams 30, 49ers 23

The Niners lose again in primetime, and this one leaves a nasty taste in our mouths too. The game is close and neck-and-neck the whole time, but a late pick by Lance seals the loss. It's completely possible though that this is the game Lance shows up and establishes his turf in Levi's, and Shanahan whips up some of that magic. I won't bet on that quite yet though. (But we'll nip them later!)

Week 5 - @ Carolina Panthers - WIN 49ers 34, Panthers 16

Lance uses the opportunity of having back-to-back cakewalk games to build momentum. He throws for 3 TDs and rushes for another as Carolina regrets not going after Jimmy Garoppolo.

*** If Carolina does trade for Jimmy, then the score is 49ers 34, Panthers 24.

Week 6 - @ Atlanta Falcons - WIN 49ers 42, Falcons 6

The whole team runs circles around the Falcons' undermanned squadron. Mariota throws 3 picks, including 2 to starting SS Talanoa Hufanga who takes one the distance. Lance keeps building on his performance against Carolina.

Week 7 - vs Kansas City Chiefs - WIN 49ers 37, Chiefs 31 (OT)

An epic battle! The 49ers come into this game with the world against them as all the pundits pick a KC blowout. But Lance puts out the performance of his career so far, going toe-to-toe with Patrick Mahomes & Co. However, Lance is the one who wins this epic display of the gridiron as he launches an 80-yard TD bomb to Danny Gray for the win in overtime. This game makes Top 10 games of 2022 as 28 total points are scored in the final 2 minutes of regulation.

Week 8 - @ Los Angeles Rams - WIN 49ers 21, Rams 9

A much-too-early rematch against the Rams (why not Week 18, huh NFL?) isn't much of a problem for this Niners squad. The defense rebounds after a poor 4th quarter performance against Kansas City with a shutdown of the electric LA offense. Lance doesn't have to do much in this win as Elijah Mitchell and rookie Ty Davis-Price combine for 3 TDs. The Niners roll into a very timely bye week with a polished 6-2 record.

Week 9 - BYE

Week 10 - vs Los Angeles Chargers (SNF) - LOSS Chargers 16, 49ers 13

The defense comes to play against the Justin Herbert-led Chargers offense, but so does the Chargers defense. The Bosa brothers combine for 7 sacks on the day, but the older Bosa nabs the game-winning sack on Lance to seal the deal.

Week 11 - vs Arizona Cardinals (MNF - Mexico City) - WIN 49ers 33, Cardinals 24

The offense rebounds against a lowly Cardinals defense. Lance throws for 3 TDs and no picks and outduels Kyler Murray. Eli Mitchell also has a day with a 150-yard, 2 TD performance that includes 3 20+ yard runs. The defense forces 3 Kyler turnovers and Hopkins is locked down by our refreshed CB room. The Faithful in Mexico City celebrate fiercely.

Week 12 - vs New Orleans Saints - LOSS Saints 26, 49ers 23

I trust the Saints without Sean Payton about as much as I trust Jameis Winston the starting QB. However, the offense struggles throughout the game as Lance runs into a few kinks. Right as he starts getting it back together, the game ends in a fluke accident when the would-be game-tying field goal is blocked by New Orleans.

Week 13 - vs Miami Dolphins - WIN 49ers 52, Dolphins 31

Master v. apprentice. Shanahan v. McDaniel. Shanahan pulls the rabbit out of the hat in this game as he teaches his former apprentice a lesson or two. The Dolphins get royally dismantled (though remain firmly in the Wild Card race.) 300 yards rushing and 3 TDs by the RB committee, Lance rushes for 1 and throws 3 more as Kittle pops off a 3-TD performance. The Bay Area buzzes the whole week as the clip of Lance's 60-yard rush TD on an option read is played on a loop throughout the nation.

Week 14 - vs Tampa Bay Buccaneers - WIN 49ers 31, Bucs 27

Fun fact: Brady's career is 13 days older than Trey Lance. The Niners' offense, coming off an electric 52-point performance, starts out very flat and the Bucs race out of the gate, holding onto a 27-10 lead going into the 4th quarter. Brady nearly gets the red-and-gold monkey off his back but Lance and Co. kick it into high gear, scoring 3 consecutive TDs to steal the win for Tampa Bay.

Week 15 - @ Seattle Seahawks (TNF) - LOSS Seahawks 21, 49ers 20

Coming off an exhilirating and emotional win over Tampa Bay, the Niners must go on the road on a short week and beat the hated Seahawks. The Seahawks play much like the divisional rival that they are and the offense can't get quite enough juice going. A heartbreaking FG gives Seattle the win.

Week 16 - vs Washington Commanders (ew) - WIN 49ers 26, Commanders 0

After a devastating loss to our rival Seahawks, the whole Niners team unites and drops a shutout on Commanders. Drake Jackson's 3 sack game goes viral.

Week 17 - @ Las Vegas Raiders - WIN 49ers 38, Raiders 35

The glitziest game of the year. Las Vegas on New Year's Day is just as much the disaster it sounds like... but only for the fans. The fans in the stands provide just as much entertainment as the game itself, which features Lance and Carr and their respective weapons in a tit-for-tat game where the last team with the ball wins. San Francisco wins the affair when Lance hits Aiyuk for the game-winning touchdown as time expires.

Week 18 - vs Arizona Cardinals (TBD) - WIN 49ers 28, Cardinals 23

Both teams are playing for a pretty penny in this game. The Cardinals are playing for a playoff spot as the No. 7 seed, while the Niners are playing for the NFC West crown, hence the game being bumped to SNF. But, just as we've seen from the Cardinals in years past, they fall apart when the game means the most. The Cardinals come out fast but fall flat in the end as Lance and Co. beat Arizona, knocking them out of the playoffs. Kyler Murray then scrubs his socials, DeAndre Hopkins throws a fit and demands a trade, and Kliff Kingsbury gets fired after the 3rd straight late-season meltdown. Arizona returns to mediocrity again.

Niners finish 12-5 with the NFC West crown and potentially the No. 1 seed. If the New Orleans and Tampa Bay games are switched (beat NO, lose to TB), then Tampa Bay gets No. 1. If it goes as above, Niners get a playoff bye!

Thanks for reading fellow Faithful, hope you enjoyed it (and yes, this is quite obviously optimistic for a QB in his first year starting. Deal with it.)

This is a FanPost and does not necessarily reflect the views of Niners Nation's writers or editors. It does reflect the views of this particular fan though, which is as important as the views of Niners Nation's writers or editors.