In 2010, the San Francisco 49ers went 6-10, and finished third in the NFC West -- thanks largely in part to the carousel they had at the QB position.
Coach Mike Singletary was fired halfway through the season, and there were talks of flat out releasing former first-roud pick Alex Smith.
Fast-forward to 2011. Only one year and one new head coach later -- the 49ers finished 13-3 and made it all the way to the NFC Championship Game before losing to the eventual Super Bowl champion New York Giants.
|Photo by: Ezra Shaw|
Now the questions is, was 2011 a fluke, or are the 49ers really that good?
Simply put -- I believe they're that good.
Think about it. They now have a dual-threat at running back with Frank Gore and the newly acquired Brandon Jacobs. They have a confident Alex Smith at quarterback. They added veteran wide receivers Randy Moss and Mario Manningham, and they also managed to keep their very solid defense pretty much fully intact.
So basically, an already good team got even better thanks to some good free agency moves.
In my opinion, San Francisco doesn't particularly have a tough schedule this season either. Here is what it looks like, along with my predictions:
Week 1 - @ Green Bay (Loss)
Week 2 - vs. Lions (Win)
Week 3 - @ Vikings (Win)
Week 4 - @ Jets (Win)
Week 5 - vs. Bills (Win)
Week 6 - vs. Giants (Win)
Week 7 - vs. Seahawks (Win)
Week 8 - @ Cardinals (Win)
Week 9 - BYE
Week 10 - vs. Rams (Win)
Week 11 - vs. Bears (Loss)
Week 12 - @ Saints (Win)
Week 13 - @ Rams (Win)
Week 14 - vs. Dolphins (Win)
Week 15 - @ Patriots (Loss)
Week 16 - @ Seahawks (Win)
Week 17 - vs. Cardinals (Win)
For those of you not keeping count, that's a 13-3 record in my estimation. Or, the same record as last season.
However, they now have something they didn't have last season -- experience.
That experience, along with a very talented roster, could very well have San Francisco playing in New Orleans next February.
In Super Bowl XLVII.