Predicting the 49ers’ win-loss record in 2019

San Francisco 49ers general manager John Lynch, left, hugs cornerback Ahkello Witherspoon (23) before an NFL football game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers Sunday, Nov. 25, 2018, in Tampa, Fla. Lynch was a long time player with the Buccaneers. (AP Photo/Jason Behnken)

Here’s how I think the 49ers’ season will unfold:

Week 1: Sunday, Sept. 8, 1:25 pm at the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

Result: Loss. The 49ers have lost eight straight games on the road, and 12 straight games in the Eastern time zone. Haven’t won that far away from home since Jim Harbaugh was the head coach. Last season, they lost 27-9 in Tampa Bay, and seemed completely unprepared for that game. Next season, they’ll have to face a new coaching staff, featuring head coach Bruce Arians and defensive coordinator Todd Bowles, who know the NFC West well from their time together in Arizona.

Week 2: Sunday, Sept. 15, 10:00 am at the Cincinnati Bengals.

Result: Win. Another game in the Eastern time zone. Luckily for the 49ers, they play this one early in the season against a novice head coach, Zac Taylor, who may have no clue what he’s doing.

Week 3: Sunday, Sept. 22, 1:25 pm vs. the Pittsburgh Steelers.

Result: Loss. The Steelers lost Antonio Brown and Le’Veon Bell, but still have Juju Smith-Schuster, James Conner and Hall of Fame quarterback Ben Roethlisberger. And the 49ers still have arguably the worst defensive backfield in the NFL. Bad matchup against Roethlisberger.

Week 4: Bye.

Week 5: Monday, Oct. 7, 5:15 pm vs. the Cleveland Browns.

Result: Loss. The Browns will be even tougher than the Steelers, because the Browns have an effective quarterback on a cheap, rookie contract (Baker Mayfield), and expensive players to support him (Odell Beckham Jr., Jarvis Landry and Olivier Vernon), not to mention one of the best young pass rushers in the NFL — Myles Garrett.

Week 6: Sunday, Oct. 13, 1:05 pm at the Los Angeles Rams.

Result: Loss. No explanation needed.

Week 7: Sunday, Oct. 20, 10:00 am at the Washington Redskins.

Result: Loss. At this point, the 49ers’ record will be 1-4. They will be demoralized, and they’ll have to fly cross country to play another early game in the Eastern time zone. The Niners will come out flat and lose to a bad team.

Week 8: Sunday, Oct. 27, 1:05 pm vs. the Carolina Panthers.

Result: Win. Cam Newton is coming off throwing-shoulder surgery, and the Panthers are mediocre at best. The 49ers can beat mediocre teams at Levi’s Stadium.

Week 9: Thursday, Oct. 31, 5:15 pm at the Arizona Cardinals.

Result: Win. Amazingly, the 49ers have lost eight games in a row against the Cardinals. That streak should end next season if Jimmy Garoppolo is healthy.

Week 10: Monday, Nov. 11, 5:15 pm vs. the Seattle Seahawks.

Result: Win. This game will come down to the final possession, and the 49ers very well could lose. But, I’m giving them the benefit of the doubt, because they beat the Seahawks at home last season with Nick Mullens playing quarterback.

Week 11: Sunday, Nov. 17, 1:05 pm vs. the Arizona Cardinals.

Result: Win. The Cardinals are starting over for the second season in a row. They’ll have a rookie head coach (Kliff Kingsburgh) and possibly a rookie quarterback as well (Kyler Murray). They’re not a threat.

Week 12: Sunday, Nov. 24, 1:25 pm vs. the Green Bay Packers.

Result: Loss. Aaron Rodgers will have all day to throw, because Dee Ford will not make a major impact for the 49ers. He recorded only four sacks last season away from Kansas City’s Arrowhead Stadium, because he relies on crowd noise to help him jump the snap. Arrowhead Stadium is one of the loudest stadiums in the league. Opposing offenses have to use a silent snap count in Kansas City, and a silent count is easy for a defensive end to time. Levi’s Stadium is one of the quietest stadiums in the league. Ford’s first step won’t seem so quick in Santa Clara.

Week 13: Sunday, Dec. 1, 10:00 am at the Baltimore Ravens.

Result: Loss. Another early game on the East Coast. Brutal. Plus, the Ravens have the most talented defense in the league.

Week 14: Sunday, Dec. 8, 10:00 am at the New Orleans Saints.

Result: The Saints are the best team in the NFC, and are extremely tough to beat at home.

Week 15: Sunday, Dec. 15, 1:25 vs. the Atlanta Falcons.

Result: Win. The Falcons are a top-heavy team with no depth and no defense. Their roster could be a decimated by Week 15.

Week 16: Saturday or Sunday, Dec. 21 or 22 vs. the Los Angeles Rams.

Result: Loss. No explanation needed.

Week 17: Sunday, Dec. 29, 1:25 pm  at the Seattle Seahawks.

Result: The 49ers haven’t won in Seattle since 2011. That streak won’t end this season.

FINAL RECORD: 6-10.

This article has 210 Comments

  1. 9-7, despite having the 11th toughest strength of schedule in the NFL. Why in the world are the Rams and Patriots tied with a few other teams for the 2nd easiest strength of schedule in 2019?

    The Niners will beat the Rams at least once this year, probably week 16. They’ll beat Washington, and they’ll beat the Packers.

        1. I edited my initial post because I believe i was incorrect. But yeah, the Rams play six games against the division, like we do. They play the AFC North, like we do. They play the NFC South, like we do. So, I believe the majority of the strength in schedule difference is the relative strength of the 49ers vs. Rams.

    1. Of course, this prediction is unofficial. My official W-L prediction will come after evaluating their draft. I do expect the Niners to be at or near the top of the league in rushing this season, and that in itself should keep them in a lot of games. Add the Jimmy G factor, hopefully another pass rusher, WR, and safety, look out!

      1. I’m glad you think so Grant, your W-L predictions have been exactly spot on lately, although in your defense, probably in part, because it’s so hard to predict key injuries. But if they can stay healthy for once, we may very well finally see what this Kyle Shanahan led team is capable of ….. knock on wood!

        Besides, it’s far easier to play the underdog role. I hope a lot of NFL teams feel the same way you do.

        GO NINERS!

        1. *Correction – your W-L predictions haven’t been exactly spot on lately.

          Again though, key injuries are impossible to predict, knock on wood!

          You’ve got them at 6-10 this season, I have them at 9-7, we’ll see who’s closer at the end of the season. I like my chances!

          Bring on Tampa Bay, but first things first … let’s kill this draft!

            1. Well good. I am glad we are both crystal clear in our predictions, although to be clear, mine are subject to change a little bit, depending on how this draft plays out.

        1. I was thinking the Exact same thing. He must be like a Rams or a Raider fan

      2. Nobody reads your column anymore. I mistakenly did this time. You hate the 49ers and are clearly biased against them, just like your dad. You should not be covering this team.

        1. “Nobody reads your column anymore. I mistakenly did this time.”

          🤣 Did you really mean to say that? It’s the funniest thing I’ve read all day. How does one mistakenly read a column, presumably in its entirety? That’s like saying you crapped your pants because you neglected to walk to the bathroom 10 yards away. 🤣

        2. Couldn’t agree more.This guy is a pompous twit who wouldn’t know a Football if it hit him in the face.Ppl like him have deep rooted psychological issues and get their rocks off on playing the proverbial contrarian. Whats funny is all the ppl who are in accordance with his chicanery,they’re like little dim witted fan boys.

      3. Nope. Wrong on this one Grant. Niners will be 6-2 1st half of the season. They will start the season strong against Tampa Bay! The second half has a tougher schedule but Shanahan teams do better in the second half, so I can’t see them winning any less than 9. I feel better that you have them winning 6. With all do respect, predicting the Niner’s season records are not your strength. However, I appreciate what you do. I never miss your articles, podcasts or video casts.

      4. Unless they draft Dk Metcalf the next Julio Jones,AJ Brown,Pettis In Slott Kittle TE & Running game & I could see a 9-7 or 10-6 Wild Card

      5. Thank you Grant for being realistic! I knew last year’s high expectations were pie in the sky thinking! And this year will be the same(5-11) We had the worst secondary in the NFL last year & made ZERO real improvements! I don’t count adding two always injured CB’s as improvements! Keep the great(and realistic)articles coming! Can’t wait for the day the 49ers are good again!

    2. They play 6 games vs the AFC East. Miami, Jets, and Bills all had losing records.

      They play 4 against AFC North. 32-30 last year.

      They play the AFC East. 31-33 Last year.

      And they play the two 1st place teams from the other AFC divisions; Texans (11-5) and Chiefs (12-4).

      The better teams usually have easier schedules since THEY are the tough team on everyone else’s schedule. Also, can’t control how bad the AFC East has been. The AFC division and NFC division they play rotates every year, so 3 & 4 years from now they’ll be playing the AFC North & NFC east again, respectively.

      What CAN be controlled though is WHEN teams play each other. Like SF playing home against Car then traveling to AZ for a Thursday game. Thats trash. Anytime a team plays on Thursday should follow their Bye week so they don’t have basically 3 days off between games. Its such a stupid mentality. And to travel as well! Now it may only be to AZ but still, its 3+ hours taken up by having to travel, instead of it being a home game.

      These are the small things the NFL does to tilt the tables.

      1. They play No games against the AFC East, and if they did, since there are only four teams in the division, which did you think they play twice?
        They aren’t scheduled against the Texans or Chiefs. Hard to understand your post.

        1. If you read the original comment, he was talking about the Pats (and rams) having a weak schedule.

          I provided the Pats schedule and reason why its ‘easy’.

    3. This article is crap, we haven’t even acquired our draft picks yet, and our new additions are kind of a big deal. The writer should be fired if and when his dumb ass is proven wrong.

      1. He won’t be fired because he writes what his employers tell him to write. Mostly to create controversy. You can tell when he writes what he wants to write because it then makes more sense. He is also far better on his Pod casts.

  2. 8-8. With a lot of luck, and if the planets align, maybe a winning record.
    .
    Niners need to improve their roster, but even if they do, the coaching needs to improve, too.

    1. Well…

      Shanahan vs. Phillips: Kind of a toss-up, mostly because of the Niners execrable offensive line.
      McVay vs. Saleh: Not a toss-up. More like a throw-up (for this Niners fan, anyway). And it’s not just Saleh. With the exception of Warner, John Lynch has done the defense no favors at all in his two years running the draft.

  3. Their first two games are very winnable.. Then a home opener versus a one year older Big Ben, minus Antonio Brown Steeler team.. They could easily upset the Steelers.. Then a bye followed by a Monday Night game versus the already overly hyped Cleveland Browns at home..

    Honestly Grant, the Niners on paper could be 4-1/5-0 after five games.. Despite the east coast travel, the opponents are all vulnerable early. I think this first quadrant of games is going to tell us if Shanahan can coach winning football or not. They are a better, more experienced club who either put up or shut up..

    1. Does anyone question whether Shanny’s offense can put up points? Someone needs to stand next to Saleh wearing, ‘It’s the defense, stupid’ T-Shirt….

      1. Standing next to Saleh, that t-shirt should say “It’s *his* stupid defense” with an arrow pointing his way.

      2. I believe the offense will be fine… but many have questioned if he can put up points.
        Shanahan is known for racking up a ton of yards… but not for scoring a ton of points with the exception of 1 year in Atlanta

  4. Grant predicts a 6-10 record, but if the Niners can beat TB and Washington, they can avoid a losing record.
    .
    TB is coming off a 5-11 season, after losing their last 4 games. They have a brand new coaching staff, and may not be fully prepared to play. The Niners have filled many holes, and have some coaching upgrades.
    .
    Washington has Case Keenum as QB, so they are beatable.

    1. Seb,
      If Kingsbury is serious about Murray, then there’s reason to believe that Washington would be the landing spot for Rosen.
      Remember that the Cards only had three wins last year, but two of those wins came against the 49ers.
      If Rosen ends up in a Redskins uni, I’d have a hard time concluding that 49ers would be a shoo-in to win.

      1. AES
        * Both Washington and NYG need a QB and could trade up in the draft (or trade), for one.
        * Tampa Bay’s QB (Jameis Winston), had a poor 2018 season, got benched and Ryan Fitzpatrick couldn’t win his job, so they may be looking to draft (or trade), for a QB.
        * The Jacksonville Jaguar QB (Blake Bortles), Is not a franchise QB and they may be looking for his replacement.
        * Denver Broncos: Jack Elway is feeling the heat and admitted QB Case Keenum wasn’t the answer by trading for Joe Flacco. But is Flacco the answer? He’s not the long term answer, so it will be interesting to see how that plays out.

        1. GEEP,
          I hear you. But my response to Seb was predicated on the possibility that if the Cards draft Murray it opens the door for Rosen to land in Washington.

          If Rosen does go to Washington, I believe that he will win the starting job and put Keenum at his best position which is backup QB.
          My line of thinking is purely hypothetical, but if this happens, I would take into consideration that Rosen has beat the 49ers twice.
          But again, I’m only tapping in to my hypothetical scenario.

          1. AES
            * Yea, no surprise if that happens. (Rosen to Wash).
            * With four (possibly 5), teams looking for a QB this could be a wild first round, with long term
            implications for everyone. * While I don’t think it will happen, I hope Ariz. drafts Bosa #1, there’s a 4 team QB bidding war for the 9er’s #2 pick and the 9ers end up Josh Alan, Greedy Williams and AJ Brown.

            1. Jack Elway is no longer here, FYI.
              .
              I think they may keep Rosen, as insurance, in case Murray becomes injured. If Murray proves durable, they could trade Rosen to a QB needy team before the trade deadline.
              .
              Yes, it would be ideal that the Cards draft Bosa, and there is a bidding war for Murray, but Kingsbury tipped his hand Oct 28th. I think he was hired just because they want a coach that loves Murray.

  5. Grant – Do you think Jed/Levi’s request to avoid hot early season Game’s at Levi’s is going to start hurting the team? Filling September/early October with road games, night games (which means Prime time against good teams) and early bye weeks isn’t good for the actual football team. Just another ding against Levis.

    1. The 49ers have been under .500 on the road every season since 2002 save the Harbaugh year. So, yes, starting the season on the road hurts. It puts them in a hole and hurts their morale.

      1. They’ve also started their seasons on MNF (see Chip Kelly v LAR).

        NFL should just make sure the 1st or 2nd week is a night game (Monday or Sunday) then Niners can go Road, Home, Road with that 3rd road game being in division (like AZ). By then its Oct 1 and the heat won’t be insane.

        That would be fair and balanced.

        1. Yes, but that would require the league giving a crap about Jed York or the Niners. Does anyone really think they do?

        1. Grant is a winner by not having to bet, and wins again by being paid for his predictions.
          .
          Sounds like a win/win to me.

              1. Remember the last time we had a poster demand a bet, then welched on it?
                .
                Just want to avoid the whole process. Waste of time.

            1. Sebnynah, you know what they say …. the only difference between brown nosing and kissing a_s, is a matter of depth perception.

      1. for cryin out loud, Sebs…..do you really think Grant can’t fend for himself? That he’s some kind of victim??
        Stop already!

        1. Grant can defend himself just fine, but we have seen the betting bravado, which turns into welching, so I just wanted to short circuit the whole process.

    1. Not with former DC Joe Woods helping him. I expect the DBs will improve, which will help give the pass rushers time to get to the QB.
      .
      JL has filled all the holes with his FA acquisitions, so the draft should be icing on the cake.

    2. And Alex Smith will be known as an all time great.
      And Trump will be impeached for collusion too. Onelame. You suck at this.

  6. Kick ass and take names putting down a funky smash!! From T.O.
    Non-negotiable; True 49er.
    Record 9-7 now handle your business.

  7. I could see 6-10. Definitely not out of the realm of possibility. I don’t see any way in the world the 49ers lose to the Redskins. That’s just not happening.

      1. So you’re saying they are due? Great. I like our chances. Vegas has the 49ers win total at 8 games so it sounds like you’re solidly on the Under. Are you going to place your money where your mouth is and fund the honeymoon from your 49er convictions?

      2. Grant, I cant say I completely disagree with you analysis and logic , however, answer these questions for me please:
        1. Other than the advantage of the time zone, what makes you so sure the Niners lose to the Redskins?. After AS went down last year, they were garbage. I think the 49ers, if healthy, are the better team.
        2. Green Bay was not impressive At. All. Last year. The 49ers were close to pulling off a W last year with NM at QB. Does the coaching change make that big of an impact? I really think the 49ers will pick a DE or a good pass rushing DL in the draft, so it shouldn’t rest on Dee Ford alone? (Also KC, outside of Seattle, maybe the 2nd loudest Stadium, totally agree with your concerns about DF)

          1. Jack Hammer you are right! That gives even more merit to my argument of beating Green Bay not being such a slim chance.

            1. The loss of McCarthy cannot be overstated. His conservative game planning was a hindrance. With Rodgers happy, and allowed to be the field general, they will be a daunting challenge.

  8. Don’t know why I waste my time clicking in here. 6-10 my ass. Please stop smoking whatever it is you are smoking Grant. Dee Ford will have no impact for the 49ers this year but lets draft my draft crush Josh Allen who sucks ass against the run

  9. Grant, your recent predictions.

    2017: 9-7
    2018: 8-8
    2019: 6-10

    And I’m assuming you are not taking key player injuries into account. So you are basically saying the team is gradually getting worse, not better?

    1. I’m basically saying the schedule is brutal and the roster still has gaping holes at receiver and in the secondary.

        1. The schedule changed. Plus, I didn’t realize until late last season just how inept Shanahan’s team is on the road.

          1. Fair enough. Hopefully, for a fan, with another year of HCing under his belt Shanahan can erase some of that ineptitude.

              1. If they start off the season with that many losses, you might add that either the coach or the GM might have to be put on suicide watch.

  10. I truly don’t understand the NFL’s reasoning behind making the team travel on a short week for a Thursday night game.

    How about, if you play a Thursday night game, you do so after your bye week, giving a team 10 days off, instead of 3.

    They did this as well in 2011 when they had a home game vs AZ, then traveled for the Thanksgiving night game vs Baltimore. And it showed. 16-6.

    1. eMJay, join the club. NFL players and coaches hate this kind of scheduling. It’s wildly unfair, and it tends to lead to injuries as well, knock on wood.

  11. Hey Grant…

    Would you argue that Kyle is on the hot seat after losing to the Browns?

    At what point in the season do you issue your man-up challenge to the 9ers?

    Working on that interview with Denise?

  12. Grant makes being a 49er fan depressing, I don’t understand why you cover a team that you always have a pessimistic view on. You can say that you are taking a ‘realistic’ approach, but it really isn’t. You do it to stir the pot and thats how you get attention, i get it.

    “Week 16: Saturday or Sunday, Dec. 21 or 22 vs. the Los Angeles Rams.
    Result: Loss. No explanation needed.”

    Predictions like the above is an example of your pessimistic approach, if you have zero hope for the Niners….GO COVER A DIFFERENT TEAM!

    Pointless to read your articles unless I feel like reading the worst possible ‘take’ on my team.

    The funny thing is you don’t have to have any accountability as writer, they end up as a bad team and you say ‘see i told you’, they end up as a winning team, you will either find the negative in it and keep moving forward.

      1. Face it Grant, you are overly pessimistic. Even Vegas has the Niners at 8-8, meaning the bookmakers believe the vast majority of the betting public believes the same thing, experts, novices, fans and non fans, the whole entire lot of them.

        Your predictions were wildly overly optimistic early in Kyle’s tenure, knowing the 49ers were in the first 2 seasons of a complete and total rebuild (9-7 …seriously?). And now you are wildly pessimistic, at a time when Niners fans ought to be cautiously optimistic.

        I have to agree with Rick here, as your motives seem awfully suspicious, IMO. Why in the world are you always so far out of touch with the majority of, not just Niner fans, but football fans in general, including the betting public? If I didn’t know better, I’d guess you either like being controversial for the sake of controversy, or you go out of your way in a veiled attempt to make ShanaLynch look bad. I suppose there is always a 3rd option …. all of the above.

        Something smells fishy, and I’m not talking about the person who goes by the screen name Catfish!

        SMH!

        1. No, I’m just realistic. You can’t handle the truth. You want to give the 49ers a participation trophy and an offseason medal.

          1. ‘the truth’? yeah, you’re definitely just trying to stir the pot.

            No one is handing participation trophy’s or medals, its the offseason and we are fans, therefore we are excited for the season to come and optimistic. Then Grant rolls in to crap on everyone’s excitement , scraping for any negative he can find.

            Basically trolling Niner fans for attention, it is definitely working for you.

            Who is your NFL team Grant? i’m betting you’re a Patriots fan…or whoever won the most recent Superbowl turns into ‘your team’

          2. In what way would you define your Niners W-L predictions since ShanaLynch came aboard, as “the truth” Grant?

            If that’s your definition of the truth, you need a new dictionary!

        2. And your: 49ers – Rams Result: Loss. No explanation needed is frankly absurd, IMO! Kyle out-schemed McVay the first time the two teams met, only losing on a blown call, which is now reviewable, so the Niners should be 2-2 vs the Rams during Kyle’s tenure. There are a lot of people who think Kyle is the superior game planner compared to McVay, and looking at their recent Super Bowl results, it’s hard to argue otherwise.

          So yah, explanation definitely needed!

          Especially when you consider Gurley’s arthritic knee, which may be signaling an end to the Rams recent good fortune on the injury front (the odds are catching up to them), and their inevitable hangover, coming off of frankly, an embarrassing Super Bowl loss.

              1. I missed him alright. I’ve looked all over for him on the Rams roster, and I cannot find him.

              2. 3 points in the Super Bowl? THREE POINTS? Literally pathetic!

                You do realize that, in a 60 minute football games, 3 points is bound to happen out of pure luck, and nothing to do with game planning or play calling? Even the most inept team in the league ought to be able to score a FG!

                That is, by definition, PATHETIC!

                Of course, we all know that the Rams shouldn’t even have been playing in the Super Bowl, so there is also that.

              3. “3 points in the Super Bowl? THREE POINTS? Literally pathetic!”

                Yeah that is. What’s even more pathetic is a team that’s 17-47 over the last 4 seasons.

              4. Yeah that is. What’s even more pathetic is a team that’s 17-47 over the last 4 seasons.

                A team that’s been in a full rebuild with a losing record is more pathetic than a Super Bowl team that scored 3 points?🤣

              5. Is that really more pathetic Jack? I’m talking about ShanaLynch, and their version of the 49ers in full rebuild mode, decimated with key injuries!

                You do realize the Rams were in full rebuild mode for seemingly over a decade, right Jack? A decade-plus worth of utter ineptitude and dysfunction, despite being blessed with the RG3 bonanza, in order to finally field a winning team that, oh, by the way, just got thoroughly embarrassed in front of like one billion viewers.

              6. Ahhhh, and there’s Jeff. Lurking reliably in the shadows until Grant needs him to pull out his billy club.

              7. “decade-plus worth of utter ineptitude and dysfunction”

                The 49ers have 3 winning seasons in the last 15 years.

                It’s pretty much been a perpetual rebuild.

              8. It’s pretty much been a perpetual rebuild.

                We’re entering year 3 of the rebuild for this regime. I understood NFL rebuilds to normally take 5-6 years to complete.

              9. Whatever it’s takes to make the losing acceptable

                Nope, it’s about keeping it in context.

              10. I guess you’re conveniently leaving out the small matter of three straight NFC Championship Game appearances for the Niners in 2011,2012 & 2013, and one Super Bowl heartache, thanks in part to a Jim Harbaugh led team that was ill-prepared for the start of Super Bowl XLVII?

                Come on man!

              11. “I guess you’re conveniently leaving out the small matter of three straight NFC Championship Game appearances for the Niners in 2011,2012 & 2013, and one Super Bowl heartache?”

                No. I said they had 3 winning seasons in the last 15. Over that time both have blown a SB appearance too.

                I agreed with you that their performance in the SB was pathetic. I just happen to find an organization with a winning percentage of .265 over the last 4 years and only 3 winning seasons in the last 15 to be more pathetic.

              12. This regime should only be held accountable for the last 2 years. Take your pathetic note and stick it in York’s suggestion box.

              13. “Nope, it’s about keeping it in context.”

                So let’s keep it all in context.

                We have an organization that’s had a winning record in 3 of its last 15 years, being led by a HC who has been in either that role or as offensive coordinator in the NFL for 11 seasons and during that time his offenses scored in the top 1/2 of the league 3 times while his teams posted winning records the same number of times, and the GM is a guy who has never been in a front office role previously.

                To this point their biggest claim to fame in SF was a 5 game win streak at the end of their first year against teams led by a rookie QB, two backups in Houston, Mariota, Bortles and Mannion.

                I have them at 11 wins on the schedule this season. No way in hell would I bet money on that though.

              14. Again Jack, you are leaving out the fact that it took 13 straight losing seasons in order for the Rams to finally field a winning team, including losing 17 straight games, before a number of high draft picks helped turn them around, so maybe we shouldn’t be holding the Rams up as some kind of example of greatness. At least the Niners had 3 great seasons during their streak. I’m not saying McVay isn’t a good coach (Shanahan will likely prove to be better, IMO), but what I am saying is that most rebuilds take time. Maybe not 13 seasons, but ShanaLynch have had 2- injury plagued rebuilding seasons, which certainly isn’t enough time to be embarrassed about anything.

              15. *Correction: The Rams went 13 straight seasons without a winning record, losing 17 straight games at one point.

              16. Not forgetting anything.

                Right now the Rams are the better team. Did they lose in the SB while scoring 3 points? Yep. Doesn’t change the reality though in comparison to SF.

              17. Yah Jack, you are entirely missing my point about the 49ers current injury ridden rebuild, or the fact that Shanahan’s talented offense put up 28 points in an overtime loss to the Patriots, while McVay’s talented offense scored a pathetic 3 points, which isn’t even outside the margin of points generated out of pure luck!

                And, at least the Niners actually earned their way to the Super Bowl, and didn’t have it gifted to them on a silver platter, by way of the worst non-call in league history. A non-call so bad, it prompted a change in the way the game will be officiated moving forward.

              18. Did I say anything about the Rams choking Jack? They never had a chance to choke, because unlike Shanahan, McVay was out-coached by Belichick before they even flipped the coin. So utterly, thoroughly out-coached that his talented offense never stood a chance against the Pats. That’s a fact, Jack!

                And, BTW, we really don’t know how well a relatively healthy 49ers team will match up to the Rams. When I say relatively, I mean relative to how healthy the Rams were during their matchups last season, as compared to the Niners. In fact, McVay’s Rams’ might have been the healthiest team in the league over the last 2 seasons, a far cry compared to the Niners’ fate.

              19. And you can go all Bohemian Rhapsody on me all you want, that doesn’t change the facts :)

                Cheers though Jack, that song is truly a classic, you are a good sport! To think that radio stations pushed back on it back in the day, because they thought it was “too long” for their audience to appreciate, which seems crazy now.

              20. I can assure Grant one thing …. McVay will not be taking Shanahan’s – Jimmy G led Niners’ team, and their 3-headed monster at RB, lightly this season. That much I can promise! And I also think there is a very good chance the Rams peaked last season, especially now that Gurley is arthritic, and with Belichick handing the league a blueprint, so it’s unlikely they will duplicate their 2018 season anytime soon.

              21. Shanahan choked, LOL.

                Up 25, his offense can’t get a first down on the next 2 possessions to burn clock. Then up 8 they finally get a 1st down and into FG position. Shanahan then calls back to back pass plays that take them out of FG range. Instead of putting the game away by going up 11 he gives NE life.

                Terrible game management.

                Queen was unbelievably talented. The amount of strong music they put out. My favorite is Hammer To Fall.

              22. First of all, it’s better to choke after putting up a tough fight, than it is to get out-coached from the word go, and get thoroughly embarrassed, without any fight at all.

                Secondly, most people I’ve talked to think Matt Ryan is the one who truly choked, like the proverbial dear in headlights! That’s certainly the way I saw it.

                And thirdly, while I disagree with you about the Shanahan/McVay/Belichick dynamic (and, btw, I’d be willing to bet Belichick holds Kyle in higher esteem) you are certainly correct about Queen. I’d even say they’ve now entered legendary status.

              23. Grant maybe you missed the super bowl where this world beating offense scored zero td’s.
                That doesn’t happen with “genius” offensive minds and coaching

      2. In my opinion, it’s the York’s ownership of the team that makes being a 49er fan depressing. That’s not going to change anytime soon. Most of us are going to be either dead, or too old to remember the good times by the time this team is relevant again.

    1. Several times a year, we (the collective we) are compelled to express why we visit this blog. A few genuinely love Grant’s embrace of hot take sports journalism–it’s a style which Grant does quite well with. A few absolutely detest his work. Some are mixed. Many enjoy the back and forth that goes on amongst the blog’s regulars–much entertainment and some good insights are exchanged. With this later group, Grant is more on the sidelines–in a few cases, even irrelevant.

      I’m here for the insight and humor. Increasingly, I enjoy ‘watching’ Grant create and dish a hot take, only to have the take kinda unravel. No, doesn’t happen every time, but enough so that it’s funny. His bombastic declarations are like overblown caricatures. Grant draws positive energy from stirring things up–the more outrage and indignation the better. Not necessarily bad, but can get in the way of sharing an accurate, complete picture of a situation, event, etc.

      Imagine a connect-the-dot puzzle–dozens and dozens of dots spread across a page. One has the feeling Grant glances at the page, sees ‘the truth’, and immediately connects dots within a couple seconds. Voila! Done! There’s THE picture! Well, it might be–sometimes it is, sometimes it’s off. Sometimes way off.

      Enjoy the circus…

    2. The Niners could actually win that second Rams game if both of the following are true:

      1. They’re healthy up and down the roster; and
      2. The Rams have clinched home field throughout the NFC Championship post season and they’re resting key players.

      Well, and:

      3. Winning that meaningless game prevents the Niners from drafting they player they could have used most in the subsequent draft.

      1. Offensively, the Rams won’t be able to run the football against us, and Goff will be forced to throw more.
        Defensively, they will capitulate due to fatigue from above.

        1. Goff throwing to Cooks, Kupp, and Woods (and a decent TE, should they draft one) against our second-rate secondary may not turn out so well for us. Be careful what you wish for.

          Yes, despite Dee-Dee and Nick-Nick (if the latter comes to pass) rushing the passer. Until Saleh demonstrates he has even half a clue on running a competent defense, what talent exists will be utterly wasted. Not unlike what happened with the Rams when the brain-dead Jeff Fisher ran the team.

          1. 2 lethal edge rushers with Buckner in the middle against a pocket passer, and Sherman on Kupp, with a safety over the top on Cooks; leaves Goff’s drives in the bunker. The Rams TE’s don’t scare anyone.

            1. Razor / Grant
              MORE TO THE POINT: Does Goff scare anyone? (Can he carry the Rams)?
              * Unless the Rams can generate a running game, it’s going to be on McVey and Goff and what is their psychological state of mind after their SB beatdown?
              * Rams lost key players from their 2018 roster: Rodger Saffold, Lamarcus Joyner, Mark Barron, Ndamukong Suh and CJ Anderson – to name a few. Todd Gurley’s also question mark!

  13. The offense is regaining the injured starters and hopefully adding a starter-caliber WR. The defense is presumably adding a couple of closers, and should be improved in both talent and experience.

    Assuming league-average rash of injuries (e.g., Ward playing at least half the season), I don’t see why Niners should not win 8 games. The schedule is not easy (SoS is probably right around league-average) but not too bad either. The two consecutive East Coast games (against average teams with new coaches) to start the season allows enough time for time-zone acclimatization by traveling to Tampa a day earlier and staying at Youngstown between games. Niners may well lose at both Baltimore and New Orleans, but the Division is weaker with the Rams’ talent depletion and a coach in Phoenix with no NFL coaching experience. I can see them going 4-2 in the division.

    It seems we “fanalysts” (fans who consider themselves to be football analysts :) were over-optimistic predicting last season’s success, they are now riding the pendulum to the opposite end. At this point, I have a narrow prediction band of 7-9 to 9-7 with 8-8 as most likely scenario. Next prediction will be at beginning of training camp.

    1. I am honestly wondering why everyone is still high on the rams. As good as they were I find it difficult to believe that a team that lost the Super Bowl like that will bounce back. I think the patriots exposed Goff and mcvay a little bit. As to the niners win loss record I think it is too early to make a fair prediction. I do believe they can beaT Tampa bay. I think winning on the road is about having a quarterback and with jimmy g things will be different. I know you loved nick Mullen’s grant but almost all the sophisticated stats indicated that he was a product of Shanahans system. I think they will also beat the browns and the saints. The saints will not recover from the terrible no call. They are still caught up in that hype. As much as I like baker the browns looks like your classic over hyped pre season team. Honestly grant you are really petty. You dig in really early with these hot takes and then you do whatever you can to justify that you’re right. I haven’t seen you say one word about coby fleener who you swore was the next gronk. Dee ford is a really good player. 4 sacks on the road is pretty darn good. Especially considering the fact that they had one other really good player on that defense. Frank Clark whom you love also had 4 road sacks. I don’t know which pas rusher dominates on the road. Even the great von Miller had only 5 sacks on the road with two coming against the raiders. You really are a hater man. You need to do your job. Please report and give us facts not these opinions from a guy who has not played football. I coached high school football for 20 years and I know that what dee ford has is rare. That type of disruption of the edge is necessary for any team. The reason Kansas City didn’t pay him is because they have to pay mahomes and Tyreek Hill. You keep talking about Bradley roby but refuse to face the fact that he was a garbage corner last year and he had an elite pass rush to protect him. Please stick to just reporting. You might actually get promoted if you do that rather than holding this job due to nepotism.

    1. Chris,
      As has been proven by the Cardinals, you don’t need to be a juggernaut to beat the 49ers.
      As an emotional 49ers faithful, I think they can win ten games. As a realistic 49ers faithful (and based on the last few seasons) I must conclude 6-8 wins.

      Six wins will not be popular, but it will give Shanahan and Lynch another year on the job. Now 8+ wins will quell the mob carrying pitch-forks and torches.

      If they win less than 5 games, you can find me at the hardware store ⛏️

  14. I think you are being unrealistically brutal in some those games you are labeling as losses Grant. Teams like the Buccaneers and Redskins have more questions than answers right now, especially at the QB position. Rodgers is playing for a new coach, and there are serious questions about how well he and LaFleur will gel together. Seattle is also a question mark because of the ongoing stalemate with Clark which in turn could affect their pass rush.

  15. I don’t see anyone wanting to trade to #2 for a QB after the Cardinals take Murray, and they are drafting him.

    If they’re not in fact in love with Bosa or Williams I could see them(49ers) drop down a few spots and end up taking Gary. If they picked up an extra late first or a 2nd and 3rd that would be a good move. Just don’t take Sweat. He’s a for sure bust.

    1. I think Gary is a for sure bust. Reminds me of Kwame Harris; no desire. You can have all the athletic attributes in the world, but if you are unwilling to give a 100% the NFL will expose you.

      1. I disagree with both assessments. Both Gary and Sweat have good talents, and with the proper coaching, will do well in this league.
        .
        I think Gary will make the Pro bowl before any of the other rookie defensive pass rushers, and Sweat, with his speed, will be top 10 in sacks.
        .
        Bosa, with his injury history, may be more likely to bust.

        1. Rashan Gary played through pain, to show his toughness. He had a nagging shoulder injury, so he was not at 100% most of last season.
          .
          When fully healthy, he will be a force to be reckoned with.

  16. I don’t know how you can determine the Niners win/lose record when the draft hasn’t happened yet? If they screw that up by not nabbing a great receiver and pass rusher as well as some safety/cornerback help then it will be a lot easier to figure. I don’t like Bosa. I don’t like his political views at all and he is prone to get hurt. There are other pass rushers who would fit the niners scheme well.

    I wouldn’t mind trading down if it got another first round pick. Better to have two or three great positions filled than just one. It’s easy to question Lynch’s drafting acumen but I’ll wait to see if he screws this up. He shouldn’t listen to the “pundits” or the fans pushing Bosa. I wouldn’t mind the Niners thinking out of the box and picking up a QB. The Ohio State QB Haskins would be a great addition and would make the Niners viable or maybe better if jimmy G gets hurt again. It would open up the long ball giving the Niners a weapon like the Chiefs have.

  17. Wk 1 @ #Bucs (W) 1:25 start time makes them think it’s not an East Coast game
    Wk 2 @ #Bengals (W)
    Wk 3 vs #Steelers (W)
    Wk 4 bye
    Wk 5 vs #Browns (MNF) (W)
    Wk 6 @ #LARams (L)
    Wk 7 @Wash (L)
    Wk 8 vs #Panthers (W)
    Wk 9 @ #AZ (W)
    Wk 10 vs #Seahawks (W)
    Wk 11 vs #AZ (W)
    Wk 12 vs #Packers (W)
    Wk 13 @ #Ravens (L)
    Wk14 @ #Saints (L)
    Wk15 vs #Falcons (W)
    Wk16 vs Rams (W)
    Wk17 @ Sea (L)

    11-5 😳

    1. I think J. Nelson goes back to Green Bay.
      He and Rogers have always had good chemistry. Nelson likely won’t start, but he could still be a good 3rd option.

        1. Cassie:
          * With all the $#(t coming out about GB’s Mike McCarthy and Rogers, I’m asking the same question.
          * GB CEO (Mark Murphy), put the blame for the team dysfunction on both Rogers and McCarthy.

          1. But they fired McCarthy, and kept Rodgers.
            .
            McCarthy paved the way for getting fired in the NFCC Game against the Seahawks. Twice on 4th and one on the goal line, he kicked a Field Goal.
            .
            McCarthy held them back, and was too stubborn to change. They should have had 2 more SBs.
            .
            Rodgers does not come off squeaky clean, but he is a rare talent, so you cut him a ton of slack.

  18. I have seen reports were people want to see JG play against Rogers and other top QBs but JG is not elite or a top QB. At this point Mayfield is better than JG. The 49ers record will fall and lay with JG. The 49ers should get a veteren backup but they wont. Even though hes not the highest paid hes in the top 10. I wonder what will happen if he loses more games this year, will they keep him on for next year.

    Record before the draft 7-9

  19. I watched a video clip of Q Williams at a press conference a while back. He was asked about K. Murray. He started to answer then stopped mid sentence and just grinned. When asked to continue he smiled and said ‘No, I’m good.’ He realized that the media would likely pounce on anything he said, so he just didn’t say it. (My grannies would’ve been proud of him!)
    I like his presence, his self-awareness, not just in a media spotlight moment, but it portends well for his over all awareness and self discipline in football and in life too. It reflected well on him imo.

  20. Grant
    * I see 9ers beating TB, Cin, Clev, Wash, Car, Ariz twice, Sea at SF, Atl and LAR at SF. = 10W
    Losing to Steelers, LAR at LA, GB, Balt. NO And Sea at Sea. = 6 L
    * 9ers win wild card game.
    * 2019 10W – 6L season predicated on JG and the 9ers staying healthy.

  21. The draft will surely play a major role but 49ers to get an extra pass rusher and a decent wide receiver, a better more consistent secondary, fully healthy Richard Sherman a healthy Jimmy G, better running game and a hard-hitting defense I’ll be forced to give them 10 and 6 at the worse… 4 -12 or 5 -11 is totally delusional… So you’re basically saying without any of those guys you were 4-12 and with these guys youre going to win one extra game?? That’s just high on crack

  22. If a substantive contributor is not loss for the season due to injury, I predict a 9-7 record (predictions are like a**holes; everyone has one).

    Bucs – Win. New staff for the Bucs, same defense and turnover-prone QB.
    Bengals – Win. One of the worst teams in the league.
    Steelers – Win. Surprise. But I think Roethlisberger regresses, and their D leaves something to be desired.
    Browns – Loss. Browns make playoffs this year (either Ravens or Browns will win the AFC North, with the other team being a wild card).
    Rams – Loss. Differences between the teams are too wide to overcome in one year.
    Redskins – Win. I think Gus Frerotte is next in line at QB for the Redskins…
    Panthers – Win. Newton’s shoulder will affect him all year. McCaffrey can only do so much, and their O-Line is worse.
    Cardinals – Win. The worst team in the NFL.
    Seahawks – Win. Split with the Seahawks this season, with each team winning at home.
    Cardinals – Win. See above.
    Packers – Loss. Rodgers still has something, and they will add either Hockenson or Fant with Davonte Adams. Aaron Jones will finally become their #1 running back without contest.
    Ravens – Loss. D too much.
    Saints – Loss. O too much.
    Falcons – Win. Falcons have D issues, even with injured players coming back.
    Rams – Loss.
    Seahawks – Loss.

    Lot of win streaks, lot of losing streaks

  23. If the Browns are healthy, nobody should be on the hot seat if they lose to them. Unless Kitchens turns out to be the second coming of Jim (“The Flatulent”) Tomsula.

    John Dorsey is turning the Browns into a talented and dangerous team in an astonishingly short span of time.

      1. What, is Saleh gonna do a Jeff Gillooly on Mayfield’s, Landry’s, Njoku’s, and OBJ’s knees before the game?

        1. Sherman will shut down Landry, and we will double team OBJ all game long. I’m ok with Njoku being tasked with beating us.

  24. You gotta love it. The Santa Clara 49ers – where objectivity is nowhere to be seen. If nothing else, the Yorks have proven to me that beyond a doubt you cannot predict how good or bad they will do. History shows it’s almost always the latter though. My scientific method indicates that Grant is probably right at 6-10 but maybe not right on every game. I say this because Kyle is not ready to be put in the Bill Walsh category and he will take three years to do what Bill did in two. My hope of the good to come out of this next year – Saleh moves on and we bring in someone who has already completed enough OJT to seriously compete.

    1. Whine, in your opinion, how much, if any will the offensive summit with Big Shanny have on Garoppolo’s game?

      1. Well Razor, I thought he had his first summit last year and I was frankly underwhelmed after our finish the previous year. And Kyle’s 1-16 record in the first 8 games gives me some heartburn. That said, I am forever hopeful . But like a former actor/president (don’t want to get political here) used to say, we should trust but verify. Hope for the best – but expect the worst….and Semper Fi. Time for us to kick ass and take names. With the draft coming up, would you tell me again who we should take first.
        🤣🤣🤣🤣

            1. Joe Fann

              @Joe_Fann
              Interesting #49ers anecdote:

              During the month of December, Jimmy Garoppolo spent time watching film with Mike Shanahan. It was a way for Jimmy to get more time in the film room without detracting from the team’s weekly game planning.

    1. I live in Arizona now and there’s something about the way that Bruce Arians left the Cardinals that didn’t add up. I think that Arians is a much better HC than he’s given credit for and, although I admit he’s taking over a mess there, I’m more worried about what he can do with a team rather than the other former Arizonian that they just sent packing. Also, we know what they say about the current NFL rules on training camp: The players are not ready until the third or fourth week of league. Then there’s Kyle’s record in the first 8 league games (1-16) and their record on the road….. Hate to see you quit if they lose this one. (Bill Walsh started out 1-2 in 1981)

      1. I know Whine, I was just over exaggerating a bit….I could never quit. But still I feel like we should win that one.

  25. Somewhere between 6 and 9 wins is where I currently see it. But really I don’t see much point predicting wins until we see who they draft and how they look in pre-season.

    1. But really I don’t see much point predicting wins until we see who they draft and how they look in pre-season.

      I would add to that in saying I don’t see much point predicting wins until we see the health of the team, especially key positions, over the course of the season.

  26. Way too early to predict win-loss, but I’ll take a shot.

    The back to back east coast games are not just bad planning. It’s a scandal. In addition to the increased likelihood of losing, the league is well aware back-to-back 10am travel games increase the odds of serious injuries as well.

    I had hopes of 8-13 wins if the team gets a handle on injuries. Now I’m thinking 5-9 wins.

    But long term I’m optimistic. A good draft and injury free training camp can push the win range back to 8-13.

  27. Off topic.
    The 49ers recently hosted TE Jace Sternberger.
    If the 49ers are looking for a TE in the late 3rd or early 4th rd this guy would make a good compliment to Kitt.

    I love the idea of getting a big, fast WR, I believe we will. But Garoppolo is not the best at throwing the long ball. He is the occasional deep passer and more of intermediate underneath passer.
    Sternberger would be a good fit for type of offense. Sternberger is not a speed TE, but the kid has good hands and plays with the heart of a Lion.

      1. GEEP,
        Yes, a late second rd would be more conceivable. Drafttek has Sternberger going to the Chiefs at #63. The Patriots have shown interest. If Belichick likes Sternberger that’s enough to pique my interest in him.
        A trade down could get us a late first rd, and maybe another second rd and add picks at 4th and 5th rd.

  28. Watched a replay of the 2014 draft on the NFL Network, they talked about the Niners D being outright scary, the type of defense that would teach Jimmie Ward the meaning of physical football from day one. It wasn’t that long ago when the Niners under Harbaugh were nasty. When I think of Saleh and his defenses, that’s not a word that jumps out.

    That defense hasn’t frightened anyone in the past two seasons.

    If they don’t find their fire in the belly and punish a few teams along the way, this is a 6-10 team. If they get some snarl and a lot more takeaways, 9-7.

  29. Think I’ll wait until after the draft and TC to make a meaningless season prediction but that’s just me… that said I really expected nothing different from Grant…… too predictable.

  30. Wonder what kind of excuses people will have if the 49ers underwhelm…again. If anythingGrant has been very generous in previous assessments. This one is far more realistic to the actual team. I see them likely going 6-10 or 8-8 if everything aligns just right (and it Hasn’t in these past seasons).

    There will be injuries, this is inevitable. The challenge is that decent teams have better backups. Ours does not.

    1. Exactly. Football is a game of attrition. Injuries are part of the game.
      .
      How a team responds to injuries is what will determine the outcome of the season. Niners need to be resilient, and have talented depth, so the backups can perform as well as the starters. Mullens was a pleasant surprise. Third string UDFA, who beat a playoff team,and almost beat the Bears. The Niners are not bereft of talent, but could use some improvements in the coaching department, too.
      .
      I am hopeful. Doubling the win total from last season should be seen as a positive, and building for the future.
      .
      So far, JL has done exactly what I wanted. He spent a lot of the salary cap, and filled every need in free agency.
      .
      Now, all he has to do is hit a grand slam in the draft, and the Niners may have hope for a winning season, if JG and the others can come back strong after their injuries.

  31. 6-10 three years into a rebuild. Not going to cut it. Can you do a article about what would have to happen to get 49ers into playoffs next year or 2021? Won’t happen if SF fires or HC, so have to assume they stay till end of contracts. At 6-10, they won’t get top 5 draft pick next year or likely not following year, so, tough to get big time players via drafts. Can they realistically amass enough talent in two drafts and two more free agency periods???
    Chances of current young players developing into pro bowl caliber players in years 3, 4 or 5 in NFL – how often does this happen if they don’t show it in years 1-3?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *