2021 San Francisco 49ers Predictions with Odds to Win Super Bowl
From 2011 to 2013, the San Francisco 49ers were one of the best teams in the league. They finished with a combined regular-season record of 36-11 and made the NFC title game in each of those three seasons, only once getting to the Super Bowl, only to lose to Baltimore. From 2014-2018, the Niners regressed and finished with a combined record of 25-55. A bounce-back season occurred in 2019 when they finished 13-3 and made the Super Bowl, but an injury-plagued 2020 season followed. You never know what you’re going to get from the 49ers. And for that reason, I’m out on them as a possible futures play.
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The 49ers open up their season on September 12 with a cross-country trip to Detroit to take on the Lions. From there, they head to Philadelphia for a date with the Eagles before returning home to host the Packers in Week 3 and the Seahawks in Week 4. A Week 5 clash against the Cardinals precedes their Week 6 bye.
As of writing this, the 49ers seem to be a sexy sleeper pick to win the Super Bowl as they’ve been tabbed at +1200. To win the NFC and get to the Super Bowl, the 49ers are +450, and to win the NFC West the Niners are sitting at +187
Let’s take a look at what to expect from each unit heading into this season.
Key Players: Quarterback X, George Kittle, Raheem Mostert
The 49ers had themselves an interesting offseason. They were essentially stuck at a crossroads and decided that it would be best to use their high draft pick to draft a quarterback, Trey Lance, despite giving Jimmy Garoppolo a massive contract. Garoppolo played just six games last season before hitting the IR with a season-ending injury. In the year prior, Garoppolo led the team to a 13-3 record and a Super Bowl appearance after throwing for 3,978 yards, 27 touchdowns and 13 interceptions. Does the Niners’ decision to draft Lance signify the end of the line for Garoppolo? Well, if preseason is any indication, Garoppolo is looking shaky while Lance is turning heads. Regardless of who starts at the quarterback position, they will be under immense pressure to perform and help the offense regain its 2019 form.
The one thing the 49ers offense has going for it is that it still employs George Kittle, and he is still one of the best tight ends in the league. Kittle is coming off a season in which he also played just half the season due to an injury. However, if he can regain his 2019 form – 1,053 yards, and five touchdowns, the Niners’ offense will be in good hands. Especially with the emergence of the receivers, Brandon Aiyuk and Deebo Samuel.
The biggest question mark surrounds the running game, where Raheem Mostert is set to lead the backfield. Mostert is another guy who played just half the season last year, but he performed well in the 2019 season when he split reps. Mostert ran for 772 yards and found the endzone eight times. If the players returning from injury are able to not miss a beat, the 49ers will be a good team. If they are rusty or falter early, the division is too good for them to make up any ground in.
Defense & Special Teams
Key Players: Nick Bosa, Jimmie Ward
Defensively is where the 49er’s excelled last season. They were among the best teams in the league in both rushing and passing yards allowed, but they did give up far too many points for their depleted offense to keep up with. Against the rush, the Niners ranked seventh overall, giving up just 106.4 rushing yards per contest. Against the pass, they were even better. The Niners sat fourth overall in passing defense, allowing just 207.9 yards per game. Unfortunately, the defense ranked 17th in terms of points allowed, giving up nearly 25 points per game. This season, the defense should be among the best units in the league (barring any injuries), and it should help that they have a fully healthy offense to bail them out when needed. As for special teams, the 49ers will rely on Robbie Gould to handle the kicking duties. And while Gould does have a strong leg, he’s been inconsistent at times throughout his career. Could be something to keep an eye out for this season.
I said it off the top and I’ll say it again down here. The 49ers are a very hit-or-miss team, and I’m just not sure what team is going to show up. Their main players are all returning from lengthy layoffs due to injury, and the defense was good at times last season but gave up too many points. I think the entire NFC West got better this season compared to last, and I don’t see the Niners staying in contention within the division for very long.
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