2020 NFL Schedule Release: 49ers Breakdowns and Predictions
San Francisco 49ers:
The 2019 49ers were routinely shamed for their “soft” schedule last season which resulted in the team making their 7th championship appearance. This season that schedule gets a big bump.
In Division: The NFC West last season almost saw 3 teams finish the year with double-digit wins (Rams finished 9-7), and could expect to see a similar level of inner-division competition from this campaign as well.
Arizona is my dark-horse team to make a run at the division title this season. With the addition of an elite reciever like De’Andre Hopkins, Kyler Murray in year 2, and a defense that has some top level talent scattered throughout, the Cardinals may be the team to sneak up on the others in the West and snatch the crown the same way San Francisco was able to do the year before.
Los Angeles, in my opinion, has seen their best days. No doubt they have some high level talent in Aaron Donald, Jalen Ramsey, and Cooper Kupp, but with the inconsistent play of Jared Goff, Sean McVay will need to dig deep into his offensive mind in order to find a way to replicate the play of his Super Bowl contending team of 2018, not to mention the Rams shipped off two of their main weapons in Todd Gurley and Brandin Cooks this offseason.
Seattle is the team that you don’t even have to tell 49er fans to be leery of. The team that always seems to be getting in the way of San Francisco through recent history. Last season, the 49ers were able to calm some of those demons when they were able to hold off the Seahawks in Week 17 to gain claim of the NFC West title. Russell Wilson finally appears to have a good set of targets around him, as well as a newly structured, solid offensive line, (which is more than Seattle has been able to claim through Russell Wilson’s tenure) if the defense can manage to get a pass rush going, I belive Seattle will be an incredibly difficult team at every level of the field.
Out of Division Notables:
Week 7 at New England – Who knows what the Patriots will look like this season. By Week 7 I think we will have a pretty good idea. Will Jarrett Stidham truly be the Pats savior? I’m not sure if that really matters. The Patriots and 49ers had the best defenses in the league last season and neither team lost much talent coming into this year. That will absolutely be the thing to watch when these two line up. Bill Bellicheck will be on a mission all next season, and beyond, to prove he didn’t need Tom Brady for his success, look for him to try and make a big statement by sending Kyle Shanahan and his squad home with a loss to kick-off what will probably be the toughest stretch of the season, Week 7 at New England, Week 8 at Seattle, Week 9 vs Green Bay, capped with the Week 10 match-up in New Orleans.
Week 10 at New Orleans – So many instant-classic games have been played just in recent memory between these two teams, starting all the way back to the epic 2011-12 Divisional Round game to as recently as last season when these two teams provided what may have been the game of the year in the NFL. This will also, more than likely, be the final time the team faces Drew Brees as the future Hall of Fame QB will presumably call it quits after a long and storied career.
Week 15 at Dallas – The week 15 match-up in Dallas is one that I think the entire nation has circled on their schedules. Not only are both teams absolutely loaded with talent that will be sure to produce tons of points and an exciting match overall, but this is a competition between two of the most historically iconic franchises the league has to offer. A combined total of 15 total Super Bowl appearances and 10 victories between the two, most of any NFL franchise aside from New England. Also to add to the recent history of the teams, San Francisco made a surprising move in this year’s draft when they passed on the presumptive #1 receiver in the draft, CeeDee Lamb who the Cowboys would happily take at pick 17, to select DT Javon Kinlaw and then trade back into the first round to select WR Brandon Aiyuk.
FINAL RECORD PREDICTION : 10 -6