The San Francisco 49ers have a tough road ahead of them if they want to return to the playoffs after a multi-year absence. They closed 2017 on a five-game winning streak with Jimmy Garoppolo as their starting quarterback, giving the team very high hopes for 2018. Here's a game-by-game prediction of the 49ers schedule this year:
Week 1 - at Minnesota Vikings
Prediction: LOSS (0-1)
It's no fluke that the Vikings were one of the best teams in the NFL last season. They have quality receivers, a good quarterback in Kirk Cousins, a dynamic rushing attack (remember, Dalvin Cook will be back and healthy) and an absolutely dominant defense. They're an all-around team that will expose any and all weaknesses the 49ers have.
Week 2 - vs. Detroit Lions
Prediction: WIN (1-1)
San Francisco should pick up their first win of the season at home against a vulnerable Lions team with plenty of question marks on defense. Expect Garoppolo to have a big game in this one.
Week 3 - at Kansas City Chiefs
Prediction: LOSS (1-2)
Kansas City has won the AFC West two years in a row and is the favorites to win it again in 2018. Arrowhead is an extremely tough place to play, and even though the Chiefs have questions at quarterback with Patrick Mahomes, they have a multitude of weapons on offense and still have a top defense.
Week 4 - at Los Angeles Chargers
Prediction: LOSS (1-3)
Two teams with great offense and question marks on defense. However, I'd give the edge to LA's weapons at this point in what is sure to be an extremely close game.
Week 5 - vs. Arizona Cardinals
Prediction: WIN (2-3)
The Cardinals will be one of the worst teams in the league as they undergo a rebuild. Their offense doesn't have a great go-to option (Larry Fitzgerald isn't that anymore) and their defense isn't as great as it once was.
Week 6 - at Green Bay Packers
Prediction: LOSS (2-4)
The only reason the Packers missed the playoffs this season was because of the injury to Aaron Rodgers, but he'll be back and playing at the elite level we've come to expect from him. He's good enough to win a game by himself, plus Lambeau Field is always one of the toughest places to play at.
Week 7 - vs. Los Angeles Rams
Prediction: WIN (3-4)
The Rams had the league's best offense in 2017 and should be just as good in their second year under head coach Sean McVay. Todd Gurley is one of the best players in the NFL and LA's high-flying passing attack should test a 49ers defense that was very vulnerable against the pass last season. However, I find it hard to believe one of these quality teams will sweep the other. Give me the Niners at home.
Arizona isn't good enough to get the split against San Francisco.
Week 9 - vs. Oakland Raiders
Prediction: LOSS (4-5)
I expect the Raiders to compete for a playoff spot with a major bounce-back year. And, with this being a Thursday night game, the home team has a major advantage.
Week 10 - vs. New York Giants
Prediction: WIN (5-5)
San Francisco gets a long week off with this being a Monday night showdown. New York will be better this year but, assuming their secondary doesn't suddenly improve, this will be a showcase game for Garoppolo.
Week 11 - BYE
Week 12 - at Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Prediction: WIN (6-5)
Jameis Winston turns the ball over. A lot. As long as Garoppolo and the 49ers take care of the ball after the bye week, they should win this game comfortably.
Week 13 - at Seattle Seahawks
Prediction: WIN (7-5)
Another team in major rebuild mode, Seattle stripped most of their defense and still don't have many offensive weapons outside of Russell Wilson. Winning in Seattle is tough but the 49ers will win their third game in a row.
Week 14 - vs. Denver Broncos
Prediction: LOSS (7-6)
Denver's defense is still one of the best in the league and, if Case Keenum continues his high level of play from a season ago, the Broncos will be near the top of the standings.
Week 15 - vs. Seattle Seahawks
Prediction: WIN (8-6)
Again, the Seahawks no longer have the firepower to compete with a team that has the upside of San Francisco.
Week 16 - vs. Chicago Bears
Prediction: WIN (9-6)
A lot of people like the Bears to be a breakout team this year but they still have a less-than-stellar defense and are probably a year away from really competing. The 49ers will win this game at home behind another outstanding performance from Garoppolo.
Week 17 - at Los Angeles Rams
Prediction: LOSS (9-7)
Once again, the Rams and 49ers will split this season. Los Angeles will win at home with the divisional title potentially on the line.Back to the San Francisco 49ers Newsfeed