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Simulation predicts 49ers to win 12 games; Brock Purdy to have rollercoaster year

Brandon Aiyuk and Christian McCaffrey would be happy with the way their seasons turn out

NFC Wild Card Playoffs - Seattle Seahawks v San Francisco 49ers Photo by Michael Zagaris/San Francisco 49ers/Getty Images

Pro Football Focus allows you to simulate any team and their season, and it’ll spit out stats for the skill players after it's complete. Using the 49ers, who are projected to win anywhere between 10-to-12 games this season, the simulation had the Niners surpassing their win total.

Here are the results from each game:

This is assuming Brock Purdy is the starter from Week 1 through Week 18.

If you knew the 49ers would win 12 games before the start of the season, you’d take that in a heartbeat. The NFL is fickle, unpredictable, which, in large part, is why it’s the most popular sport in the United States.

Even the most dominant teams fall victim to teams like the Cardinals and have to squeak out victories against the Bucs. But nobody dwells on losing to the Broncos in Week 3 last year after the way the season finished.

Unfortunately, there were no defensive stats provided. While it’s encouraging for San Francisco to win 12 games, the stats for the quarterback suggest that Purdy comes back to earth during his second season:

That yardage would be good for ninth in 2022 among all quarterbacks. Purdy’s 8.5 yards per attempt are higher than his rookie year and would also land him in the top-10.

Jalen Hurts threw 22 touchdowns last year, which is good company. But the turnovers would be an issue, as Purdy averaged one interception per game in this hypothetical. That number not only would have led the league a year ago but would have been three more than Dak Prescott.

Brandon Aiyuk would have career highs in receptions and receiving yards, surpassing his 1,015 season from a year ago comfortably. If Aiyuk has 1,326 compared to Deebo Samuel failing to reach 800 yards, the 2024 offseason would leave little debate as to who you’d pay.

Both Deebo and George Kittle’s numbers feel low, but they make sense when you realize Christian McCaffrey is cutting into their production. It’s unlikely that McCaffrey finishes with fewer than 500 yards receiving. He’ll be closer to 700.

The simulation doesn’t think Deebo will have a rushing attempt in 2023. Samuel is likely to carry the ball during the first half in Pittsburgh of Week 1 against the Steelers.

McCaffrey’s stats look accurate as he’ll once again flirt with 2,000 total rushing and receiving yards. But I’m more interested in how the rest of the backfield plays out. It wouldn’t surprise to see Mason log the second-most carries this season.

That’s not an indictment on Elijah Mitchell. Given his injury history, projecting Mitchell to make it through the season healthy doesn’t seem plausible. We don’t have any evidence of Mason missing extensive time in his young career. Plus, at his size with how he runs, he’ll be the “closer” if the 49ers win 12 games.

It would’ve been nice to see how Nick Bosa followed up his Defensive Player of the Year season, or how Drake Jackson stepped up as a starter in Year 2, but there shouldn’t be too many complaints if the 49ers regular season ended up this successful.