Some analysts and fans have this upcoming NFL season marked as "Super Bowl or bust" for the San Francisco 49ers. I myself don't wholly believe that it will be a bust if they don't make the Super Bowl, but I will be disappointed due to what they were able to accomplish in 2011. Jim Harbaugh came in and helped turn a team that was 6-10 in 2010 into a team that went 13-3 in 2011 with an appearance in the NFC Championship Game.
However, over at FootballOutsiders.com they don't think the 49ers will reach the Super Bowl nor have a repeat of their 2011 season. In fact, they believe the 49ers will win only seven games in 2012 and have just a 40 percent shot at reaching the playoffs. And just how did they come to determine that the 49ers will win only seven games this season?
One word: statistics.
The people over at FootballOutsiders.com ran some kind of statistical analysis and played out the season one million times with the average number of wins for the 49ers being 7.2. 7.2 wins is all the 49ers will be able to muster come 2012 according to statistics. That's funny, I didn't know statistics were the ones putting in the work during the offseason, the ones upgrading the team at key positions, and the ones leading the team and calling the plays. Apparently, you learn something new every day. Either that or you're simply buying into the idea that everything is based on math.
There is an entire nine-minute video that explains how the 49ers will regress towards the mean -- their average output over the last five years -- and will have to battle it out with the Seattle Seahawks in order to take down the NFC West. It also means that in order for the 49ers to make the playoffs, winning the NFC West will be the only way to achieve that goal -- seeing as that I doubt seven wins will earn them a wild card berth.
But then again, who says they are going to win only seven games? Certainly not I.
The 49ers are at least a 10-win team when looking at their schedule, the fact that they have upgraded at wide receiver and running back, the fact that they will retain their entire starting defense from 2011, and that they have Jim Harbaugh -- a coach known for relentlessly working to improve his football teams, just as his reputation dictates. Unless the 49ers are devastated by injuries, they will win the NFC West outright and make a march through the playoffs just as they did in 2011. Perhaps they won't earn the number two seed in the NFC, but they certainly will be in the mix.
Football statistics dictating a season; c'mon now, that just seems a little ridiculous, doesn't it?
No matter what the statistics say I'm standing by the 49ers to win the NFC West and make their way to Super Bowl XLVII. What kind of fan would I be if I didn't?
Food for thought: Do you buy into the statistical analysis that the 49ers are only a seven-win football team? Or have they done too much upgrading to be so mediocre?
David is co-founder of wrapupp sports blog where fresh content is posted daily and present sports blogs and sports opinions - all with a West Coast bias. Growing up in the Bay Area, David is a huge supporter of all the local sports teams; the Giants, Athletics, Warriors, Sharks, 49ers, and Raiders. His one fault, admittedly, as many of his friends and family would say, is his love for the Los Angeles Lakers. Growing up, Magic Johnson was his favorite basketball player and he fell in love with the team. He chalks it up to, "Not knowing any better". Now his love for sports has turned just as academic as it is intuitive and he follows most all sports all over the nation.
You can follow David on Twitter: @officialwrapupp
FootballOutsiders.com. FO Video: S.F. 49ers vs. Plexiglass. NFL 2012.
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