NFL Network predicts every game on 49ers schedule

  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
·3 min read
In this article:
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.

There may not be a higher-variance team in the NFL than the 49ers going into this season. They’re coming off a trip to the NFC championship game and return virtually all of their top players from last year’s squad. A dramatic change with first-time starter Trey Lance taking over under center, and some question marks on the offensive line offer a high ceiling and low floor for the 49ers.

Predicting how they’ll finish requires a ton of conjecture since Lance is ostensibly a complete unknown at the most important position on the field. We gave it a crack in our way-too-early predictions after the schedule came out. Now NFL Media’s Adam Rank is giving it a try. Rank famously guessed San Francisco would go 3-13 in 2019 when they wound up going to the Super Bowl.

This year essentially any guess with the 49ers is valid, and a person’s prediction will say a lot about how much faith they have in Lance and San Francisco’s coaching staff.

Rank is high on neither and believes the 49ers will be worse in 2022. Here are his guesses, and some thoughts on how this might come true:

Week 1: Loss at Chicago Bears (0-1)

Kamil Krzaczynski-USA TODAY Sports

Week 2: Win vs. Seattle Seahawks (1-1)

Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports

Week 3: Loss at Denver Broncos (1-2)

Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

Week 4: Win vs. Los Angeles Rams (2-2)

Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Week 5: Loss at Carolina Panthers (2-3)

Stan Szeto-USA TODAY Sports

Week 6: Win at Atlanta Falcons (3-3)

Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

Week 7: Loss vs. Kansas City Chiefs (3-4)

Jay Biggerstaff-USA TODAY Sports

Week 8: Loss at Los Angeles Rams (3-5)

Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Week 9: Bye

(Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images)

Week 10: Win vs. Los Angeles Chargers (4-5)

Orlando Ramirez-USA TODAY Sports

Week 11: Win at Arizona Cardinals (5-5)

(AP Photo/Darryl Webb)

Week 12: Win vs. New Orleans Saints (6-5)

Chuck Cook-USA TODAY Sports

Week 13: Loss vs. Miami Dolphins (6-6)

Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Week 14: Loss vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (6-7)

Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

Week 15: Win at Seattle Seahawks (7-7)

Darren Yamashita-USA TODAY Sports

Week 16: Win vs. Washington Commanders (8-7)

(Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images)

Week 17: Loss at Las Vegas Raiders (8-8)

(Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)

Week 18: Win vs. Arizona Cardinals (9-8)

Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

Takeaway

(Photo by Lachlan Cunningham/Getty Images)

This isn’t entirely unreasonable with a couple road hiccups against teams like the Bears and Panthers. Losing both home games to Miami and Tampa Bay would be rough as well.

Overall this would either get the 49ers into the playoffs, or at least have them in contention going into the final couple weeks. Playoff-level games to close the year would be good for Lance’s development as well. It would also be a good sign if the 49ers can go 3-1 over the final four because it probably means they’re getting improved play under center.

The good news is the 49ers would clean up in their division. Rank has them 5-1 vs. the NFC West with the only loss coming against the defending Super Bowl champion Rams on the road. The bad news is they’d be going 3-5 on the road overall and 4-7 vs. teams not inside the division.

It’d be hard to be disappointed with a year that finishes strong and has San Francisco in the playoff hunt. On the other hand, losing a game in the standings while potentially missing he postseason would make it hard to feel great going into the offseason.

 

1

1