NFL predictions 2022: What experts project for 49ers' season

What NFL experts are projecting for 49ers' 2022 season originally appeared on NBC Sports Bayarea

Week 1 of the 2022 NFL season is here, which means it's time to see how experts believe the 49ers will fare this season.

San Francisco will begin the season with one of the most talented rosters in the league, although the question mark with first-year starting quarterback Trey Lance under center looms rather large.

Here is a roundup of 49ers season predictions:

NFL.com analysts

The 49ers were chosen to win the NFC West by votes from seven analysts, second behind the Los Angeles Rams, who received 18 votes to win the division. The analysts who predict San Francisco winning the division were Ali Bhanpuri, Brooke, Cersosimo, Jeffri Chadiha, Eric Edholm, Gennaro Filice, Steve Mariucci and Jim Trotter.

The average votes from the panel pegged the 49ers as the second wild-card team in the NFC behind the Dallas Cowboys and ahead of the New Orleans Saints.

Both Edholm and Mariucci predict that the Buffalo Bills will win Super Bowl LVII over the 49ers.

  • Offensive Player of the Year: Deebo Samuel (Received 1 of 24 total votes)

Mariucci cast the lone vote for Samuel as the OPOY, behind Minnesota Vikings' Justin Jefferson (7 votes), Indianapolis Colts' Jonathan Taylor (4 votes), Cincinnatti Bengals' Ja'Marr Chase (3 votes), Las Vegas Raiders' Davante Adams (2 votes), Baltimore Ravens' Lamar Jackson (2 votes) and tied with Tennessee Titans' Derrick Henry, Philadelphia Eagles' Jalen Hurts and Carolina Panthers' Christian McCaffrey.

  • Defensive Player of the Year: Nick Bosa (Received 3 of 25 total votes)

Cersosimo, Edholm and Trotter each cast their vote for Bosa, who tied for third with Cleveland Browns' Myles Garrett (3 votes) and behind Dallas Cowboys' Micah Parsons (10 votes), Los Angeles Rams' Aaron Donald (5 votes).

Mike Clay, ESPN

Entering Week 1 of the 2022 season, Clay has the 49ers ranked as the No. 13 team in his power rankings.

"This may seem low for a team that played in the NFC Championship last season, but we have to hedge our bets a bit with Jimmy Garoppolo out and unproven Trey Lance in at QB," Clay writes. "Lance has quality targets (Deebo Samuel, George Kittle and Brandon Aiyuk) and a pair of good tackles protecting him (Trent Williams, Mike McGlinchey), though the interior offensive line is a question. Nick Bosa, Fred Warner, Arik Armstead and new top corner Charvarius Ward lead a very good defense."

The Athletic NFL staff

NFL experts over at The Athletic were asked which seven teams will make the playoffs from both the AFC and the NFC.

The Rams were picked to win the NFC West along with fellow division winners Green Bay, Tama Bay and Dallas, with a 98 percent chance of making the playoffs. Meanwhile, the 49ers were predicted to be in the wild-card hunt, with a 77 percent chance of making the playoffs, the second-highest behind the Philadelphia Eagles (79 percent) and ahead of Minnesota Vikings (54 percent), Arizona Cardinals (44 percent) and New Orleans Saints (30 percent).

Peter King, NBC Sports

The NBC Sports NFL columnist released his 2022 season predictions in Monday's Football Morning in America column. King has the 49ers going 10-7 this season and earning the third and final wild-card spot by holding the tiebreaker over the Dallas Cowboys

"We interrupt this endless quarterback story to remind you the other 51 players on this roster are pretty good," Kings writes.

King has the 49ers losing to Green Bay in the NFC Wild Card round. The interesting wrinkle, is that he has Jimmy Garoppolo taking over for Trey Lance in Week 7 against the Kansas City Chiefs.

John Breech, CBS Sports

In his 2022 NFL Preview column, Breech has the 49ers (10-7) finishing second in the division behind Los Angeles (11-6). Most notably, Breech predicts a "total collapse" for the Arizona Cardinals, who he believes will finish last in the division with a record of 6-11.

Breech has the No. 7 seed 49ers beating the No. 2 seed Rams in the Wild Card round and losing to the No. 1 seed Packers in the Divisional Round.

Vinnie Iyer, Sporting News

Iyer is very high on the 49ers this season and predicts that San Francisco will win the NFC West with a record of 13-4.

"The 49ers have the most talented team of the Kyle Shanahan era and should Trey Lance not live up to the massive hype (he will), they have a strong fallback plan in place again with Jimmy Garoppolo," Iyer writes. "Offense, defense and special teams add up to a high floor with a Super Bowl-winning ceiling."

Iyer predicts that the No. 3 seed 49ers will beat the No. 6 seed Eagles in the Wild Card round before losing to the No. 2 seed Buccaneers in the Divisional round.

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