Recording a podcast is like eating a popsicle on a summer day. The damn thing starts melting the second you get out there. Yesterday Levin Black and I sat down to record a lighter show with not much news happening in 49ers land.
Today, we got a ton of news. But, if you’ve still got time for a little fun today, we discussed an interesting topic on today’s show.
If you could magically guarantee three of the 49ers wins on their 2022 regular-season schedule, which three would you choose?
Being the level-headed man that he is, Levin took the logical approach.
“That’s pretty darn simple, to me. The two obvious ones are both Rams games. You want to win the division, so beating the Rams twice gives you a massive leg up on the hardest team to beat for the division. After that, I’m going to take an NFC team. I’m picking one of the Arizona games because Arizona has had their number, or the Tampa Bay game. That Buccaneers game could be massive in tie-breaking scenarios.”
There’s no doubt that the Rams are the biggest obstacle to another NFC West title for the 49ers. Barring a total collapse in the other games, a season sweep over Los Angeles would likely make that possibility. The Bucs game also makes sense in terms of seeding in the NFC. An extra week of rest is invaluable for a team, and a head-to-head win over Brady and company could ultimately be the difference between a bye or having to play one more grueling playoff game.
Shockingly, I was a little more emotional with my selections. My mind went to the two toughest quarterback matchups right off the bat. I would definitely use a little magic to guarantee wins over Brady’s Bucs and Patrick Mahomes’ Kansas City Chiefs. Out of all the games on the 49ers’ schedule next year, those are the two toughest.
It’s asking a lot of a 22-year-old quarterback in his first full year as a smarter to go and beat the greatest quarterback of all time and the guy that’s gotten to four straight AFC Championship games. Levin’s strategy makes more sense from a football standpoint, for sure. But damn, wouldn’t it be nice to take down Brady and Mahomes in the same year?
As for my final selection, I actually took the Panthers in Week Five, assuming Jimmy Garoppolo gets traded there. Even though the 49ers have a much better roster than Carolina (even with Jimmy at QB), I still want to guarantee a win against them. Not because I particularly fear Garoppolo, but because I have seen that guy come along for the ride in some really weird games.
Like a five-turnover game against the Steelers in 2019. Or an NFC title game that year where he went 6 of 8 passing. Or a Divisional game in Lambeau in 2021 where he didn’t lead his team to a single offensive touchdown. I don’t want to take the chance that we see one of those ridiculous Garoppolo games if he’s on the Panthers. Not to mention having to deal with the insufferable stans for a whole week.
We also considered the game against Russell Wilson and the Broncos in Week 3, the game against Justin Fields to open the season, and the New Year’s Day game in Vegas as possibilities. That last one could be a lot trickier than some people are giving it credit for right now.
What do you think? Which games would you want to see as Ws if such a thing was within your power? Listen to the show and leave a comment below with your answer.