Here’s how many games the 49ers will win next season

San Francisco 49ers quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo passes against the Los Angeles Rams during the first half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Dec. 31, 2017, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)

The 49ers seem like they should win 10 games next season. Maybe more.

They won five in a row to close out 2017, and improved by signing running back Jerrick McKinnon and center Weston Richburg this offseason. Based on those upgrades, plus the strong finish to last season, you can see the 49ers winning 11 or 12 games next season.

Until you see the schedule. Then you think, “Maybe not.”

Or I do, at least. The schedule is tough.

Let’s go through it.

Click here to read the rest of my column.

This article has 38 Comments

  1. Week 1: Shanny will have Jimmy well prepared to feast on the Vikings.
    Week 3: This will be tough. But if we keep it close, I’ll take Garoppolo over Mahomes every day.
    Week 7: Nah, LA made all their offseason moves because they’re scared of Shanny/Garoppolo. Remember we almost beat them with Hoyer.
    Week 12: Looks like a trap game one week before playing Seattle.
    Week 15: “The outcome of this game will cause Pete Carroll to consider retiring.”
    I like it.

    “8-8”
    Too low.

    Oh and this.

    Week 9: Thursday, Nov. 1 vs. the Oakland Raiders.
    “Prediction: Loss.”

    You wish. Gruden is overrated and Shanny knows his tricks. Garoppolo is better than Carr. The Raiders will be wandering the LV dessert after we run them out of California.
    Oak. 9
    S.F. 34

  2. Forgive me for stating the obvious, but if 49ers injury rates similar to 2014, 2015, 2016, eight wins will be quite an accomplishment.

    I’m still in “Improvement Mode.” If the 49ers are playing better, I won’t worry about the win totals too much. (Of course I’ll be rooting like crazy for a win on a week by week basis). Yearly win totals are more of a 2019 concern.

  3. Last season, I predicted 6 wins. I also said that they might have a non losing season if they improved the QB position. Too bad KS did not play JG for 3 games.
    .
    This season, with JG here for the OTAs and him throwing all off season to his receivers, they might sync up even more.
    .
    Rams are ascending, but Seattle may regress. Cards may improve just by moving on from CP, but since they are getting David Johnson back, they should be better.
    .
    Niners need to hit another grand slam in the draft, by trading back and accumulating future picks, while getting the player they originally targeted. However, they should not make unforced errors by trading up to get a player they could have gotten by just being patient, thus saving more picks. Glad they avoided the ACL players, but this draft, I hope they avoid all red flag players.
    .
    With JG, the Niners should have a winning season, but 10 wins seems too optimistic. Rams are loaded, Cards still have a good defense, and the Seahawks may finally give RW enough protection. Niners could easily be only 2-4 in their division.
    .
    Niners may have a 9-7 season, if they avoid injuries. 8 wins seems too low, especially since they won their last 5 games.

      1. 80, Seahawks still have Paul Allen, with his billions. He did not win a SB with the thought that one was enough. Schneider and Carroll are still formidable.
        .
        Arizona was 6th in defense last season. Granted, Bradford needs to be healthy, but they are planning on drafting a QB for the future. Mason Rudolph may be available to them at 15.
        .
        Rams were a playoff team, and they added serious elite talent, so the Niners may not be able to count on the Rams to sit their starters.
        .
        Just trying to keep it real. JG will not be able to take teams by surprise, and the other teams will be planning and scheming to thwart him. Niners need to obtain a pass rush, or the DBs will be exposed again.
        .
        Sure, It would be wonderful if they could go 10-6 with a shot at a wild card spot, but they have to hit another grand slam in the draft and avoid injuries.

        1. “Seahawks still have Paul Allen”

          http://1.fwcdn.pl/ph/10/75/1075/212716.1.jpg

          “Niners need to obtain a pass rush”

          Hopefully we’ll have a solid edge rusher by this time next week to play beside Buckner.

          “JG will not be able to take teams by surprise”

          JG will still take teams by surprise by going off script, he excels at this. He will also know the playbook. You are underestimating JG, but you’re also underestimating Shanny. KS will keep teams guessing all season. This will be a top 5 offense. This is a playoff team.

              1. Typical clueless “fan” who doesn’t understand how the salary cap system works and hasn’t seen that the Yorks have always opened up the pocket book.

                If they are so cheap, what was up with firing Harbs (still had to pay him) hiring and then firing JT (still had to pay him) hiring and firing CK (thats kelly, still had to pay him) and then hiring Shanny.

                Oh, and firing Baalke (still had to pay him) and hiring Lynch.

                You know, this board was a lot more pleasant for a few months there…I wonder why.

          1. Pollyannish rosy scenarios are fine for fans, but after watching a SB team being dismantled into a 2 win team, and continuing to toil in obscurity since ’95, I guess I am a little jaded.
            .
            Predicting a winning season (9-7) is improvement, but the planets need to align if they are to make the playoffs.
            .
            Sure, I will be rooting for JG to succeed, but I do not think it is beyond imagination to assume teams will be devising ways to stymie that quick slant.
            .
            I agree, they should let JG be the field general, so he can be flexible and innovative. Hope he can continue to overcome the coaching, like KS admitted.
            .
            Glad JL filled all the gaps with Free Agents, but this draft will be critical for success.
            .
            Top 5 offense? They will need a big bruising RB, better TE play, and a tall fast WR that can get those jump balls. 2/5 of the O line will be brand new, so there are many question marks. Sure hope you are right, but I see obstacles.

            1. “teams will be devising ways to stymie that quick slant.”

              Let them try.

              https://www.thescore.com/nfl/news/1451512-film-breakdown-jimmy-garoppolo-has-all-the-makings-of-a-star

              “The quarterback’s first read on this last-second red-zone play is the slant route to his right. Seattle is ready for this, however, dropping underneath and over the top of the route. Unfazed, Garoppolo quickly moves through his progressions, passing on a comeback route in the middle of the field and rolling out to his left as the pocket begins to collapse.”

              “He keeps his eyes downfield, smartly resets his base despite three incoming Seahawks, and places the ball away from the defender.”

              “The 49ers line up in a heavy formation (including a fullback) to sell the play action. Garoppolo drops back, fakes the hand-off, and scans downfield. San Francisco’s pass protection doesn’t hold up, but it doesn’t matter. Garoppolo stays calm, readjusts his feet, and hits Marquise Goodwin on a deep crossing route.”

              1. “Jimmy Garoppolo throws a perfect deep pass under pressure to Carlos Hyde, who slowed up and couldn’t bring it in. Should have been a touchdown. Hyde runs a seam route here”

              2. 80, teams will study, scheme and devise ways to stop the quick slant. That play was very effective and kept the chains moving.
                .
                JG does have elite skills, and I sure hope he can continue his winning ways. I love his quick release and am impressed with his accuracy. Having more time to absorb the playbook can only help. He is everything Hoyer isn’t. JG thinks quick and has good anticipation.
                .
                I was jumping for joy when I saw him looking off the safeties, and he seems to make his team mates better. His leadership skills are top notch, and he seems to out think the defense, thinking 2 plays ahead, and setting up plays. I love replaying that pass to Murphy. JG threw into triple coverage. It seemed like it was impossible for Murphy to make a reception, but he did. JG also completed that pass with a pass rusher bearing down on him, which made the play even more amazing. That side arm TD pass to Taylor was a thing of beauty.
                .
                Still, the O line did allow too much pressure. JG got hit a lot. With Hyde gone, they need a big back, who can take big hits, and run between the tackles. Play action will not succeed without first establishing the run. That takes cohesive O line play and solid running backs. JG almost never threw long, because those plays needed time to develop. Hopefully, with the OTAs and pre season, he can sync up better with his receivers. They need to improve their red zone success, so there is room for improvement.
                .
                Yes, I dearly want the Niners to become relevant again, but remember that 2 win season, and the 9 game losing streak last season. Many think the Niner offense, except for JG, is pretty mediocre, so please pardon my skepticism.
                .
                A lot will also depend on KS. Will he allow JG to freelance? Will he make timely adjustments? Will KS be innovative and unpredictable? Will he fit the system to the player, or the player to the system? Will he put players in positions to succeed? Will he play to the player’s strengths? Will KS tighten up his game management, and make it more efficient and effective? These questions need to be answered before I declare them a playoff team.
                .
                ‘Playoffs? Playoffs?!!! I just hope they win another Game’. JM. ;p

              3. seb,

                Jimmy didn’t have Garcon last year. Nor did he have McKinnon. I don’t share your concerns about Shanny. KS and JG are made for each other. KS will no doubt let JG freelance.

            2. “big bruising RB”

              We’ll add a HB in the draft. If nothing else, Alfred Morris is a free agent.

              “better TE play”

              A healthy Kittle in his second year = better TE play. Don’t forget about Hikutini.

              “tall fast WR”

              That would be nice, but Shanny said that height isn’t a necessity.

              “2/5 of the O line will be brand new, so there are many question marks.”

              One of those two is Richburg, who is a massive upgrade over Kilgore. Laken and Cooper aren’t terrible. The only question mark is Garnett. Staley is good. Brown is decent. We’ll probably draft an O-lineman.

              1. I like Rashaad Penny or Royce Freeman. Both are big and productive. Joe Williams needs to shine, but he needs to protect the ball. Jeremy McNichols may emerge as a sleeper.
                .
                I agree. Kittle will improve with another season, and Hikitini just needs to work on his blocking, more.
                .
                I like WR Allen Lazard. 6′ 5″, 227 lbs, who can be picked up as a later round pick.
                .
                W Richberg is definitely an upgrade, but I am concerned about his concussion proclivity. I am glad they got Cooper.
                .
                I wonder if they might let Garnett play LG, his natural position, and move Laken to RG, where he played in college.
                .
                I like Billy Price, who is ranked 71 on the Draftek big board.

        2. JG will not be able to take teams by surprise, and the other teams will be planning and scheming to thwart him.

          As usual, our former Seb is confusing actual NFL quality QBs with what happened with Kaep.

          1. Speaking of Kaep, glad he won another award, this time from Amnesty International. They recognize his bravery in the face of unreasoned and misplaced hate, with commendable and morally upright advocacy for social justice.
            .
            Outlawing peaceful dissent is un-American, and the NFL will be exposed as intolerant, persecutorial and reactionary.
            .
            Kaep has been blackballed, with the recent Seahawk incident as more proof. The NFL is risking voiding the CBA, which is way too owner friendly. Maybe the players will organize so they can get proper and just health care, which is way more important than just money. Chronic health issues threaten to bankrupt more retired players, so lifetime health care should be fundamental right, especially after chronicling the human toll.
            .
            The NFL could negate his suit by just signing him, but they just keep proving the collusion.
            .
            Believe it or not, they do the same thing to EVERY quarterback. Guess you fell into a trap, assuming I was only talking about Kaep. Every defense will make adjustments, and it is incumbent on the offense to come up with new schemes to stay ahead of the game. Now that they have more film on JG, he will not be able to take teams by surprise. That is just a fact of life, not another opportunity to rip Kaep.
            .
            While I am responding to the peanut gallery, I just wish to point out that while many rip Grant for writing for a minor small town newspaper, that ‘rag’ just won a Pulitzer.

  4. Niners are the new Packers.

    Kick ass gunslinging QB with mediocre to half decent talent around him.

    They will do well. JG has the ability to win games on his own if he needs to (a la Rogers). But they are far from being SB contenders.

  5. The problem the niners have is they just aren’t very talented. If I compare their position groups vs the league… only qb and interior d line would be rated above average. Every other position group I would argue is average or below average.

  6. I am with you 8 and 8or 7 and 9. Look I hope the team does better but realistically foster will be a huge loss for the D and lots of question marks. Talent continues to need to be mined and patience. Need O tackles, no injury to Jimmy G!

  7. For once I agree with you Grant! Lol!

    I’m optimistic though and will be ecstatic if we get to the playoffs :)

  8. The Chiefs are the team to beat in the AFC West.

    I don’t know about that. They have a huge question mark at QB IMO. 2nd year Mahomes has to prove himself as a bona-fide week to week NFL starter and not just the guy with a huge arm before we crown them.

  9. Typical raider fan.
    This schedule is tough? Minn and the Rams and Packers. The only teams that will be tough to beat.
    The raiders on a short week and Gruden won’t let his team lose? Really? Oakland has arguably the weakest secondary in the league and Gruden isn’t going to let JG throw all over them? He’d be lucky to keep them under 35 points at home. Cmon Guy.
    The Seahawks are dead, the cardinals are dead. The AFC West is a joke now, we don’t play Carolina, NO, NE, PItt, Jax, Tenn, PHI, you know actual playoff teams.
    This is by far the easiest schedule they’ve had in years. And by far the best team they’ve had in years. The math says at least 10 wins.

  10. If only they had A+ Hoyer as QB.

    Sigh.

    How many games did lil boy cohn predict they would win with him as QB? 10? 12?

  11. I think 8-8 is realistic. If they can find some way to steal 2 more games then their in the playoffs. Of your losses, I think the Raiders, Bucs, and Chiefs game could go either way. I’m not sure about a Mahommes led Chiefs team.

    But also of some of your wins I think there are a few that could go either way also. That being the Lions and Chargers.

    I think 8 to 10 wins seems like a good prediction.

  12. JG will always surprise secondaries with KS able to be creative this season. Maybe they take back the ripoff of ’84 and the ’72 Dolphins don’t quaff bubbly…

    Point is that every game is winnable. Ask Jacksonville.

    Beat LA.

  13. This guy is good
    OldCoach says:
    April 20, 2018 at 7:13 am
    OK now that we have all made our predictions how bout predicting what grant will say. How pissed off does he want to make optimistic 9er fans? How many clicks can he get? I predict the 9ers will be 10-6 but with a good health and a break or 2 could be 11-5. I think Grants prediction will be 8-8.

  14. We’ve arrived once again at Pre-Draft Silly Season.
    The reemergence of Mr. Multi Mocks is our unfortunate clue.

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