The San Francisco 49ers have big aspirations in 2019 after reloading the team with some top notch talent. They especially feel good knowing that they will have Jimmy Garoppolo back. With the expectations that are being created why not take a stab at being bold? Bold takes and predictions do tend to create some interesting conversation. With that said, here are my five bold predictions for the San Francisco 49ers in 2019.
49ers will win the NFC west
It would not be so much of a bold prediction to say the San Francisco 49ers will make it to the playoffs as a wild card. Well clinching the division would easily be a very bold prediction. It certainly would be a tough task to accomplish since the Los Angeles Rams are coming off a Super Bowl appearance and the Seattle Seahawks will always be a force to be reckoned with. Not to mention that the 49ers were swept last season to the Arizona Cardinals.
As much of a uphill climb it is, the 49ers do have a chance to win the NFC west. This offense that head coach Kyle Shanahan has assembled resembles that of the Atlanta Falcons in 2016. The defense looks like it’ll be solid and the offense a dominating force. San Francisco will have to win at least four games in the division to even sniff the crown for the division. The potential is there for them with the main problem being the load of variables to attaining this goal.
Jimmy Garoppolo will win the NFL MVP award
As I stated in the previous topic, the San Francisco 49ers offense resembles that of the Atlanta Falcons offense that made the Super Bowl in 2016. There are many similarities from that offense to this one with the obvious one being that Kyle Shanahan runs the offense. The running backs are all versatile top tier talents with a solid offensive line.
Tight end George Kittle is a clear elite player in this league that is the 49ers No. 1 receiver option just like Julio Jones. Now that just leaves the quarterback, which Jimmy Garoppolo does have some similarities with Matt Ryan.Kyle Shanahan will do wonders for Garoppolo’s career as he looks to bounce back from his torn ACL. Imagine rebounding from that injury to be an NFL MVP in 2019.
Well he can get it done as bold as it sounds. The offense has a vast array of talent along with the complex scheme that will only enhance their abilities. Opportunity is there for Jimmy Garoppolo is just really how he responds from injury. This offense will only go as far as he does. If he’s driving this offense to multiple high scores and wins, especially if it leads to a playoff berth then he will undoubtedly be a candidate as MVP.
49ers will have three running backs with 500 receiving yards or more
The three headed monster that the San Francisco 49ers have at running back is arguably the best talent in the league. Matt Breida established himself as a versatile player last season, while Jerick McKinnon will be returning from injury. Having those two alone makes the backfield solid, but the addition of Tevin Coleman makes the 49ers offense a mismatch hell for defenses.
Who is going to guard these guys if they’re coming out of the backfield? Even if some players can match these running backs it’s not going to be easy with how Kyle Shanahan runs his system. His plays are designed to get his backs open for big chunk plays and these backs have the ability to sell the play. All three of the backs will see significant roles this season, which will have them each have at least 500 yards receiving.
It wouldn’t be shocking if a good portion of Jimmy Garoppolo’s passing yards came from YAC from his running backs. There is just so many ways to use these backs like screens, motions, slot, etc. Seeing how defense try to stop them is the most intriguing because finding the answer will be a struggle. 500 receiving yards for Breida, Coleman and McKinnon would be a huge accomplishment for these players and Shanahan.
49ers will finish top three in sacks
Last season the 49ers only had one legitimate threat at pass rusher in DeForest Buckner. Buckner was the only player on defense to tally double digit sacks to lead the team. San Francisco ended up tied ranked 22nd in sacks with 37. With the new and improved defensive front that number should skyrocket. In fact, ranking in the top three isn’t too much of a far cry. The pressure will no longer be solely on Buckner nor will offenses look to key in on him.
With so many way to dismantle an offense with Dee Ford and Nick Bosa the 49ers have exceptional inside and outside pressure. There is definitely going to be a handful of games where the team gets 5 or more sacks. I’d even expect at least two players to knotch 10 or more sacks under their belt. Ranking in the top ten for sacks feels like its to be expected for the 49ers, but ranking in the top 3 would be an insane stretch that actually could be possible.
DeForest Buckner will win defensive player of the year
DeForest Buckner was able to accumulate double digit sacks in a defense that was lacking in any real talent. Buckner was the lone star on that defensive front, which makes it easy for offenses to key in on. Imagine that, Buckner was able to be a phenomenal pass rusher without much help last season. Now add in Dee Ford and Nick Bosa into the mix which will free up Buckner.
Offenses will no longer double team him or at least not all the time. We are going to see an unleash DeForest Buckner who is in a contract year, so of course he’s going to want to reach around 15 sacks to demand the highest sum of cash. It’s that driving force along with a strong supporting cast that will see him win the defensive player of the year award. Buckner isn’t just a dominant pass rusher.
He can play the run exceptionally well and be a force there too. Buckner is a complete defensive lineman. Usually defenses will suffice having a lineman be talented in one of those aspects, but Buckner is certainly among the elites to excel at both. In a league filled with so many elite pass rushers seeing Buckner win it would be tough which just makes a heavy bold take.