San Francisco 49ers 2010-2011 Season Preview

A Look Back – The San Francisco 49ers have been the team of “what if” for the past few seasons. What if they had started QB Alex Smith all last season? What if Mike Nolan was fired at the outset of the year in 2008? What if the offensive line had kept Smith upright for the second half of the season? This year should be a lot better than “what if,” though, as the 49ers are heavy favorites to win the NFC West.

Key Additions – OLs Mike Iupati and Anthony Davis – We’ve already mentioned a porous offensive line from last season, but that was addressed by the Niners right away in the NFL Draft. With a pair of first rounders, the Niners took both Iupati and Davis, both of which will immediately step in and start on the offensive line. Both of these linemen are big boys that love to run block, and they should help out RB Frank Gore quite a bit in the rushing game. Expect significantly better than 100.0 YPG on the ground this year.

Key Loss – DB Dre Bly – Bly is returning to Detroit, which is going to leave San Fran with a bit of a hole at the defensive back position. Bly had three picks last season, and he played in all 16 games. However, Bly was only a starter for six games last year and could be dispensable. If this is the biggest loss that the team has to deal with this year, the Niners should be in great shape.

San Francisco 49ers NFL Cheerleader

2010 Will Be a Success if… – The offense really starts to kick it up a notch. Averaging just 290.8 YPG was disgraceful for a team that finished .500 last year, meaning if the offense can start to produce just a little more, San Fran could be incredibly dangerous. Just putting two new offensive linemen in the bunch could make a world of difference. Keep an eye on WR Michael Crabtree as well now that he has an entire training camp under his belt.

The Crucial Game – The home opener this year is incredibly important. In order to give the Niners something positive to go off of, beating the defending champs could be a huge boost. More importantly, it is the only game in the first four weeks of the year played at home, so to keep the fans engaged in San Fran, a victory in that game against the Saints in Week 2 could be huge.

Predictions – The schedule sets up so well for San Francisco this season it isn’t even funny. The rest of the NFC West is in shambles, and playing the NFC South and AFC West should make for a ton of easy games. Finishing with less than ten wins is going to be a disappointment. Not only could the NFC West crown be had, but a bye week isn’t totally out of the question in the playoffs as well. The oddsmakers don’t have a lot of faith in the 49ers once they make the playoffs as they pay +3100 in Super Bowl future lines.

2010 San Francisco 49ers Regular Season Schedule

9/12 @ SEA
9/20 vs. NO
9/26 @ KC
10/3 @ ATL
10/10 vs. PHI
10/17 vs. OAK
10/24 @ CAR
10/31 vs. DEN
Bye
11/14 vs. STL
11/21 vs. TB
11/29 @ ARI
12/5 @ GB
12/12 vs. SEA
12/16 @ SD
12/26 @ STL
1/2 vs. ARI

 

Winners

Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Gerald McCoy is perfect for them and they got him exactly where he should go.

Kansas City Chiefs: Eric Berry is exactly what they needed. They might have been able to trade down a few spots and still pick him, but Berry is exactly what they needed.

Seattle Seahawks: Russell Okung probably shouldn’t have fallen to Seattle, so great for them to pick him up. Earl Thomas is another great pick at 14. The Seahawks probably did the best of anyone on Day 1.

San Francisco 49ers: Getting two offensive linemen, Anthony Davis and Mike Iupati, in the first round complete remakes their offensive line in just one day. I’m guessing they traded up for Iupati because they thought the Steelers were going to grab him.

Miami Dolphins: I like what they did trading down. And I like Jared Odrick. They grabbed some extra picks and still got a huge piece in the first round.

New York Jets: Kyle Wilson is going to learn from the best and, in a year or two, beat out an All-Star corner for a job.

Indianapolis Colts: Jerry Hughes is an incredible value at 31.

Losers

St Louis Rams: It’s too easy for a quarterback to end up as a bust and they get too much money as the number one pick. Sam Bradford is a very good prospect, but not an elite one which is what you want with a number one overall QB. St Louis should have traded this pick and grabbed either Sam Bradford or Jimmy Clausen later on in the draft.

Jacksonville Jaguars: Trade your first round draft pick to someone who is going to use it to draft first round talent.

Undecided

Denver Broncos: I love that they traded down, but Tim Tebow and Demaryius Thomas probably could have been picked up lower down.

Having said that, I’m a Tebow believer. He will be the best quarterback to come out of this draft because he has the right kind of determination and attention to detail to put in countless hours to fix his throwing mechanics and he has the demeanor of a winner on-field.

If the Broncos knew that someone was going to grab Tebow before them, then trading up to grab him was a good move.

 

Today’s denial by St Louis Rams coach Steve Spagnuolo that they are pursuing Donovan McNabb shouldn’t do a thing to stop speculation that he’s leaving. After all, until he actually gets McNabb, the only smart thing to do is deny any rumors.

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If he gets McNabb, then great. But if he fails, then he’s just destroyed his relationship with his current QBs while getting nothing back.

McNabb’s been rumored to be heading to St Louis, Minnesota, Arizona, San Francisco, Buffalo, Washington and probably everywhere else but I can’t be bothered to keep researching.

St Louis seems to be the front-runner based on how often their name is mentioned in relation to McNabb, but I can’t see McNabb signing an extension there.

I think Minnesota is probably the best fit for both player and team although if Arizona can replace Boldin and Urban they’d also be a good fit.

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