The NFC West is likely shaping up into a three-team race in 2019, including the San Francisco 49ers, who’ll have to best the Seattle Seahawks and the Los Angeles Rams. Sounds like a perfect time for bold predictions, right?
In 2018, the San Francisco 49ers were a hot topic and a team with a legitimate chance to compete with the Los Angeles Rams for NFC West divisional supremacy. The Seattle Seahawks, meanwhile, suffered a lot of player and coaching turnover, suggesting they were headed towards regression. The Arizona Cardinals, under one-and-done head coach Steve Wilks, were set to be a bottom dwellar.
After the year, only two teams — the Rams and Cardinals — ended up where many thought they would. Los Angeles ended up winning the division and representing the NFC in Super Bowl LIII, and Arizona finished with the first pick in the 2019 NFL Draft.
Seattle didn’t simply “go away,” going 10-6 and making the playoffs, while San Francisco suffered an injury-riddled year and finished 4-12 en route to the No. 2 overall pick in the draft.
Heading into 2019, it’s pretty easy to make some cool-take predictions. The Rams likely regress a bit, yet they remain serious division contenders. The Seahawks aren’t going to go away either, and they’ll probably be in the playoff picture. San Francisco should be better, especially with quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo fully recovered from his 2018 ACL tear, and Arizona has another first-year head coach amid a total team rebuild.
Those kinds of predictions are easy to make, though. Instead, let’s get a bit bolder and come up with some more aggressive predictions for the 49ers and the rest of the NFC West with the 2019 season just around the corner.