10 Daring Predictions for the 2022 49ers

September 11, 2022

The 49ers kick off the 2022 NFL season in lower than 24 hours in Chicago in opposition to Justin Fields and the Bears.

I do not find out about you, however I’m as excited as Navin R. Johnson when a brand new phonebook arrives. The brand new NFL season is right here! The brand new NFL season is right here!

I’m excited on the daybreak of each new season, however for me, this crew feels totally different. There’s the thrill of a brand new period starting at quarterback, the perfect secure of cross catchers in current reminiscence, a ferocious and unrelenting line of defense, and a secondary led by the 2 Wards—Jimmie and Charvarius.

Within the spirit of that pleasure, I wished to make some daring predictions for the upcoming season. Ought to be thrilling to learn the feedback and replies!

1. The 49ers will win the NFC West

This prediction does not appear as daring after watching the defending Tremendous Bowl and NFC West champion Los Angeles Rams get completely dismantled by the Buffalo Payments on Thursday Night time Soccer two days in the past, however we won’t actually take an excessive amount of from Week 1 performances, good or unhealthy. The Rams had some evident points in that sport that seem like they could possibly be season-long, however they completely can’t be written off after one week.

Nonetheless, the NFC West is a two-horse race for my part as I don’t, in any respect, imagine within the Arizona Cardinals and their diminutive quarterback Kyler Murray, nor their coach, whose second-half season collapses are so well-known that I’ve since trademarked Week 10 of the NFL season the Kingsbury Kliff™. Then there are the Geno Smith-led Seattle Seahawks. Sufficient stated about them.

That leaves the 49ers and Rams to battle it out for NFC West supremacy and with the Rams’ points alongside the offensive line, their incapability to run the ball, and a brutal schedule, the 49ers will discover themselves atop the NFC West once more for the primary time since 2019.

2. Trey Lance will change into the primary 49ers’ quarterback to surpass 4,000 yards passing since Jeff Garcia 22 years in the past in—*excessive pitched voice*—the 12 months 2000

It might come as considerably of a shock that, within the 5 seasons that Jimmy Garoppolo was the beginning quarterback in San Francisco, he by no means surpassed 4,000 yards passing. Then once more, with the variety of video games he missed, possibly it isn’t—even together with his stellar 2019 marketing campaign. That 2019 season was the closest that Garoppolo received to the 4,000-yard mark, and it was actually shut at 3,978 yards.

Lance could have the benefit of a 17-game season to attain this aim, which is a bonus—although one which Garoppolo had final season as properly. Over the course of 17 video games, Lance might want to common 235 passing yards per sport to get to 4,000. That is a really cheap expectation. There will probably be video games the place he could fall in need of that mark and video games the place he’ll doubtless far exceed it, however over the mixture, I do not assume it is truly that daring. Although, as with nearly each prediction with regards to soccer, this one is *health-permitting*.

3. Rookie slot cornerback Samuel Womack III will lead the crew in interceptions—which could have him within the dialogue for Defensive Rookie of the Yr

Samuel Womack has been, arguably, probably the most spectacular rookie in the course of the preseason. He confirmed the teaching workers and entrance workplace sufficient by means of coaching camp and the primary preseason sport in opposition to the Inexperienced Bay Packers—the place he had two stellar interceptions on back-to-back posessions—that they launched their previously-anointed starter, Darqueze Dennard, simply three days after.

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Womack was unheralded popping out of Toledo, which enabled the 49ers to draft him all the best way within the fifth spherical of the 2022 Draft, however his play on the sector was something however underwhelming. In truth, Womack, taking part in primarily outdoors for the Rockets, led the MAC in cross breakups for 3 consecutive seasons and was second in the whole nation in 2019. The person has a nostril for the soccer, and in a protection that boasts Charvarius Ward and Emmanuel Moseley on the skin, and will see the return of Jason Verrett in some unspecified time in the future this season, he’s more likely to get picked on a bit of bit, giving him ample alternative to make performs on the ball

4. Elijah Mitchell will change into the primary 1,000-yard rusher within the Shanahan period

This one is daring just because there hasn’t been a working again within the Shanahan period that has repeated because the main rusher for the 49ers in back-to-back seasons, and Mitchell was a bit injury-prone final season, having missed six video games resulting from harm. Nonetheless, within the 11 video games that he did see motion, he racked up 963 yards—a 49ers franchise file for a rookie—whereas averaging 4.7 yards per try.

Mitchell is getting into 2022 because the unquestioned lead again within the offense, and they’re doubtless gearing as much as run the ball. A LOT. Particularly to start the season as Trey Lance works to get his toes beneath him as a first-year starter. The crew has a wholesome Jeff Wilson Jr., and rookies Tyrion Davis-Worth and Jordan Mason to assist ease the load on Mitchell, however I feel he’ll nonetheless get the lion’s share of the carries so long as he stays wholesome. If he does, I feel he’ll surpass that 1,000-yard mark simply.

5. Nick Bosa could have 20 or extra sacks

Nick Bosa is absolutely good at soccer. He amassed 15.5 sacks final season after coming off an ACL tear. He would wish simply 4.5 extra sacks to achieve 20. He additionally has a LOT of assistance on the opposite aspect with Samson Ebukam, Charles Omenihu, rookie Drake Jackson, and Jordan Willis and Kerry Hyder Jr. as properly. That assist ought to preserve groups from continually double-teaming the long run All-Professional (a free daring prediction!) and there aren’t many tackles within the League which might be going to win a one-on-one matchup in opposition to Bosa. Add to that the motivation of a contract extension subsequent offseason that may doubtless see him surpass $30 million in AAV, and you have got the recipe for a monster season.

6. Brandon Aiyuk will lead the 49ers in receiving yards

This prediction has much less to do with fading the freshly-extended Deebo Samuel, and extra to do with the ascendance of Aiyuk. Over the course of his final 11 video games, Aiyuk had 41 receptions on 68 targets for 730 yards. Extrapolate that out over the course of a 17-game season and also you get 63 receptions for 1,128 yards. Add to that his already established rapport with Trey Lance, and Lance’s penchant for attacking the deep parts of the sector, and you’ve got a recipe for a breakout season for Aiyuk.

I’d wager the over on that 1,128-yard quantity.

7. The 49ers will commerce Jimmy Garoppolo previous to the commerce deadline

The 49ers made it abundantly clear this offseason that they had been shifting on from Jimmy Garoppolo and handing the reins over to Trey Lance. Garoppolo’s shoulder surgical procedure made it not possible to commerce the previous starter, and when it grew to become evident to each side {that a} launch was imminent, they labored out a deal to maintain him as Lance’s backup at a drastically lowered wage. That lowered wage not solely helps the 49ers with regards to cap house, however it is usually a way more enticing and palatable quantity for any crew that trades for him. Add to that the presence of Brock Purdy on the 53-man roster, and never the observe squad, together with HC Kyle Shanahan’s feedback that the crew was ready to enter the season with Purdy at QB2 previous to Garoppolo’s contract restructure, and it is evident that the crew would nonetheless prefer to commerce Garoppolo so long as the worth is true—which implies for greater than the Third-round comp choose it’s going to obtain when he indicators with a special crew subsequent offseason.

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8. Ray-Ray McCloud could have the 49ers’ first punt return for a landing since 2011

McCloud doesn’t have a punt return for a landing on his NFL résumé, however he did take one to the home throughout his junior season at Clemson in 2017. This prediction relies extra on new Particular Groups Coordinator Brian Schneider, who was introduced in after former ST coordinator Richard Hightower’s contract was not renewed following the 2021 season. Schneider spent ten seasons because the ST coordinator in Seattle and through these ten seasons, his unit ranked within the Prime 10 in kick-return common six instances and ranked within the Prime 10 in punt return common 4 instances.

McCloud does not have top-end pace just like the final 49ers’ participant to return a punt for a TD—Ted Ginn Jr.—however he does have unbelievable acceleration, which may get him out of some tight spots and into the open discipline.

9. The 49ers will lead the NFL in scoring Protection

It is a daring prediction as a result of the 49ers face some potent offenses on their schedule, together with everything of the AFC West, in addition to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, LA Rams, and the Arizona Cardinals. Nonetheless, the crew faces the Broncos, Chiefs, and Chargers inside the first ten weeks of the season, and the again half of their schedule is not practically as daunting. This protection, beneath DeMeco Ryans, was a Prime 10 unit by the tip of the season whereas giving significant snaps within the secondary to gamers like Josh Norman and Dre Kirkpatrick. The funding the crew made within the secondary is barely going to make that unit higher, whereas they nonetheless boast arguably the perfect line of defense in all of soccer. These two models are doubtless going to result in extra protection sacks, in addition to extra turnovers. The run protection remains to be a query mark with the lack of DT D.J. Jones to Denver, however third-year participant Javon Kinlaw appears poised to step into that function and appears to be the healthiest he has been since getting into the NFL.

Whatever the query marks, this protection goes to be nasty.

10. The 49ers will face the Inexperienced Bay Packers in Lambeau Discipline, but once more, within the postseason

On our most up-to-date episode of the Denim Dungeon Podcast, my co-host Tim Sprinkles and I each predicted a 12-5 season for the crew, incomes them the #2 seed and a house playoff sport. I predicted that the Packers could be the highest seed and that the 2 groups would meet once more, in Lambeau, for the NFC Championship sport.

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Try the podcast in order for you my prediction for the end result of that sport.

One final prediction: the 49ers will depart Soldier Discipline with a Week 1 victory over the Bears. Closing rating: 27-13

The opinions inside this text are these of the author and, whereas simply as vital, are usually not essentially these of the positioning as a complete.

Proper now, San Francisco 49ers head coach Kyle Shanahan is tied for seventh with regards to the chances for the subsequent NFL Coach of the Yr. ESPN just lately went across the league and made one daring prediction for every of the 32 groups. For the Niners, it was Shanahan profitable NFL Coach of the Yr, and it has quite a bit to do with the event of second-year quarterback Trey Lance.

“The 49ers held onto quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo, however Shanahan will win Coach of the Yr due to the event of his alternative, Trey Lance,” wrote

The Chicago Bears are set to host the San Francisco 49ers at Soldier Discipline in Chicago, Illinois, on Sunday, September 11 at 10:00 a.m. PT. Every week, the 49ers Webzone workers predicts the winner inside its annual NFL Decide ’em contest. That features writers and discussion board moderators.

This week, all 10 collaborating workers members chosen the 49ers to beat the Bears. San Francisco is at the moment a 6.5-point favourite.

As for all of the followers who’re participating in our NFL Decide ’em contest, an awesome 99 p.c have the 49ers profitable the sport, as of this submit. The

NFL groups have till Tuesday at 1 p.m. PT to chop every of their rosters right down to 53 gamers. Here’s what I challenge for the San Francisco 49ers roster.

Quarterback (2): Trey Lance, Nate Sudfeld

I am taking Nate Sudfeld because the second quarterback on the roster over Brock Purdy, who’s flashed within the preseason with some tight-window and contact throws.

Sudfeld, 28, has an additional 12 months of familiarity within the system and is a veteran quarterback who has mentored Lance all through his profession. He is additionally assured $2 million, making him an costly lower, and has performed properly sufficient within the preseason to take care of his stance because the backup quarterback.

Whereas Purdy has flashed, Sudfeld possesses the higher arm energy, and it is unfeasible to roster three

NFL Community completed its countdown of the Prime 100 gamers of 2022, revealing Nos. 1-20 on Sunday night. The rankings for 5 San Francisco 49ers gamers had already been revealed. They’re the next.

Fullback Kyle Juszczyk at No. 100
Security Jimmie Ward at No. 96
Linebacker Fred Warner at No. 47
Defensive finish Nick Bosa at No. 25
Tight finish George Kittle at No. 22

NFL gamers vote on the record. It’s based mostly on participant efficiency in the course of the earlier 12 months and predicted efficiency in the course of the upcoming season. This 12 months’s rating is the league’s twelfth.

Sunday revealed two 49ers gamers within the prime 20, bringing the overall crew illustration within the prime 100 to seven.

Deebo Samuel made his NFL