Count the 49ers as another NFC West team with a schedule loaded with 10AM PST east coast start times. New GM, John Lynch, will find success hard to come by, but also should be looking forward to a top 2018 draft pick as his rebuild continues.
San Francisco returns to Santa Clara after an abysmal showing in 2016, winning just 2 games on the season. Their rushing game was basically the only highlight of their season and they will have to improve on their 170 yards per game of passing to have a shot at winning any games in 2017. They’ve turned to Brian Hoyer at quarterback who actually put up some decent numbers with Chicago last year. Hoyer’s 6/0 TD/INT ratio and 98 QB rating are indicative of a game manager type who could be successful given the continuance of a good running game and stellar defense.
Continuing the trend started by Arizona and Los Angeles, the San Francisco 49ers have a terrible road schedule that includes five 10AM PST start times. These games at Indianapolis, Washington, Philadelphia, Chicago, and Houston will be likely losses for the 49ers this year.
Their schedule starts off even tougher at home, with a Week 1 matchup against the Carolina Panthers. Carolina is already a 5-point favorite in that game and I’d take that bet in a hurry. In Week two they travel to Seattle in what has become a lopsided rivalry over the last three seasons. A certain loss and physical toll leads up to just 4 days between the Seahawks and a Thursday Night Football date with the Rams in Week 3. I’d say starting off 0-3 would be almost a certainty.
Weeks 4-6 have three road games scheduled, two of the 10AM PST variety in Indy and Washington. It’s going to be a tough stretch for sure, and not likely going to end with any games in the win column for San Francisco. They get a home date with the Dallas Cowboys in Week 7 before their Week 8 bye. I’m expecting the Cowboys to be at least 11-point road favorites in that one, putting the 49ers at 0-7 to start the year.
It doesn’t get better after the bye week, as the 49ers travel for another 10AM PST start at Philadelphia in Week 9. At this point, I’m predicting a quarterback change for the team and another bout of offensive ineptitude against the tough defenses of Arizona, New York Giants, and Seattle Seahawks in Weeks 10-12. 0-11 to start the year leads to two more back-to-back 10 AM PST east coast starts at Chicago and Houston.
The final three games of the season will likely be where the 49ers have a chance to win a few games. They have Tennessee and Jacksonville at home before traveling the Los Angeles in Week 17. I’m thinking they split the game between Jacksonville and Los Angeles, leaving the 49ers and new GM, John Lynch, the top pick in the 2018 NFL Draft.
San Francisco 49ers Season Prediction: 1-15, Super Bowl Odds +20000