We’re in the NFC again this time around and we welcome the San Francisco 49ers to our ‘State of the Franchise’ series.
We have drafted in resident UK 49ers fan, Nathan Dunn (@RBVsixx), who is sharing his thoughts on his team this week. In the usual format, Ryan will reflect on last season with a look to the new 2018/19 season and a brief overview of all the things that have happened in between.
Let’s kick things off then shall we?
Last Season’s Reflections
Going into the 2017 season the 49ers chances of making the play offs were virtually nil. We were up there with the Browns and Jets who were destined to go 1-15 and snag one of those top QBs in the draft, like Sam Darnold or Josh Rosen.
And up until week 11 going into the bye week that’s basically what it looked like. We were 1 and 9! Winless through the first 9 games of the season! A closer look at some of those game might have given some hope that we were not as far away as people might have expected – losing by 3 points or less in 5 of them.
On October 30th, the 49ers sent their second round pick in the upcoming draft to New England in exchange for their back up QB, Jimmy Garoppolo. He made his first start in week 13 in Chicago and then won every game from then on wards. 5-0 as the 49ers starter, and 2-0 as a starter in New England when Brady was suspended over deflategate. Jimmy G has never lost a game in the NFL as the starting QB.
Changes During the Off-Season
The biggest thing the Niners have done this offseason is they have made sure their new franchise QB is sticking around, by signing him to a 5 year $137,500,000 contact ($27,500,000/year) making him the highest paid quarterback in the league at the time (has since been passed by Kirk Cousins and then Matt Ryan in average per year).
To replace RB Carlos Hyde who has gone to Cleveland, we signed former Minnesota Viking, Jerrick McKinnon, and then former New York Giant, C Weston Richburg.
And then on the defensive side of the ball, 49ers arch-nemesis Richard Sherman has come to the Bay, where he will play his former team twice a year from now on.
After getting a top-10 draft pick on top of a franchise QB was a double bonus – other franchises need to use that top 10 pick to get the QB of the future, where as we were able to get our QB and keep the pick. With the 9th overall pick in the draft we took the top offensive tackle Mike McGlinchey from Notre Dame. With 2 new additions to the O line this offseason, the 49ers have made it obvious that they want to protect Jimmy G.
Predictions For The New Season
So now the hype train keeps rolling! With an undefeated QB we are going into the 2018 season with expectations set sky high. The Faithful want the 49ers to be this year’s version of the Eagles or Jags from last year.
However, taking into account that the NFC West is starting to look like a tough division once again we will have our work cut out if we want to make the post season. With the Rams being a lot of peoples favourite to take the division crown for a second year in a row, we will have a fight on our hands to keep up with them- it is really looking like the next big rivalry in the NFL could be 49ers v Rams, Kyle Shannahan v Sean McVay, Garoppolo v Goff.
My prediction is that the 49ers will go 12-4 on the season, with losses coming in week 1 to the Vikings and in week 4 to the Chargers, and then 2 losses within the division, 1 to the Seahawks and 1 to the Rams. The only other teams that could give us trouble is Green Bay at Lambaeu and at home v the Bears who could be dangerous in year 2 of Mitchell Trubisky. I think 12-4 is realistic, and will be good enough for a play off berth, I’m not sure we will win the division- I think it will be a close and battle with the Rams all the way through the season- with the division being decided in the final weeks of the regular season.
Editor Notes: 49ers fans, let us know your thoughts and tell us whether you agree with Nathan’s reflections and predictions. Leave a comment or contact us via social media below: