49ers schedule 2022: Predicting wins and losses for 2nd half of season

Christian McCaffrey #23 of the San Francisco 49ers (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
Christian McCaffrey #23 of the San Francisco 49ers (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images) /
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Tom Brady #12 of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers (Photo by Kevin Sabitus/Getty Images)
Tom Brady #12 of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers (Photo by Kevin Sabitus/Getty Images) /

49ers schedule: Weeks 13-15

Week 13 vs. Dolphins: Sunday, Dec. 4 at 4:05 p.m. ET

The toughest remaining stretch of the 49ers’ season begins in Week 13, and it starts with former Niners’ offensive coordinator Mike McDaniel bringing his upstart Dolphins to Levi’s Stadium, including a bevy of former Niners players, to take on his old boss.

But the Dolphins, much like the Saints, are a strange team of highs and lows.

Offensively, to the surprise of nobody, they are putting up numbers: 10th in the league in points scored with 213, fifth in yards gained with 3,424, and also the second most passing yards in the league with 2,642.

Oddly, their running game, despite that being where McDaniel earned his place in the league during his time with San Francisco, is awful. The Dolphins’ rushing attack, led by Raheem Mostert and Chase Edmonds, is tallying just 3.9 yards per carry, good for just 28th in the NFL.

The recent trade for yet another former 49er, Jeff Wilson Jr., was made to hopefully bolster that part of their offense. But Miami managed just 77 total rushing yards in a shootout victory over the Bears in Week 9.

By the time Week 13 gets here, however, things may have changed. The biggest issue here will be the Dolphins’ speed on offense, which along with Mostert and Wilson, also features former Chiefs wideout Tyreek Hill, who went over the 1,000 receiving-yard mark against the Bears on 76 receptions through nine games.

And as much as the Dolphins’ defense has struggled in terms of giving up points and in stopping the opposition from doing much of anything, that speed feels like the X-factor.

It will be a close game but the winning streak may come to an end against the Dolphins.

Result: L

Record: 7-5

Week 14 vs. Buccaneers: Sunday, Dec. 11 at 4:25 p.m. ET

Hey, did you know Tom Brady is from the Bay Area? And that he grew up a 49ers fan?

There should be an over/under on how many times this gets mentioned in the lead-up to the Niners’ Week 15 matchup against Brady and the Buccaneers.

Let’s bet the over.

As far as the game is concerned, stop us if you’ve heard this before: The Bucs are a weird team.

Unlike the Dolphins and the Saints, however, the Buccaneers are stopping teams at a massive clip, allowing the fifth-fewest points per game so far in 2022 and allowing just under 1,700 yards passing to their opponents through nine games.

They just can’t score or do anything on offense, in spite of being led by Brady and having a solid core of offensive weapons that include wideouts Chris Godwin, Julio Jones, and Mike Evans. They also theoretically have running backs, although they are the worst rushing offense in football, averaging just 3 yards per attempt.

On top of that, their rushing defense is only okay, giving up 4.6 yards per attempt. It doesn’t seem like a recipe for success against a 49ers team that A) runs the ball well and B) is allowing the fewest yards per rushing attempt in the league at 3.4.

So I get it: It’s a Brady Homecoming. And he just won a game against the Rams during which his team managed just nine points through 3.9 quarters of play.

But the matchup looks good from a Niners’ perspective. It’s back in the win column for this one.

Result: W

Record: 8-5

Week 15 @ Seahawks: Thursday, Dec. 15 at 8:15 p.m. ET

This was supposed to be the year the Seahawks fell apart.

And yet, through the first half of the season, they have not. In fact, as of this writing, they are the only team in the NFC West with a winning record.

I hate it.

This is a short week, which favors the Seahawks, who don’t have to travel and have a home game against Carolina in Week 14, a little bit. But these old rivals, combined with the sudden importance of the game, should make for an interesting matchup.

Still, Seattle is another team that is out of balance. Massive offensive numbers, including the fourth-best scoring offense in the NFL, and not too impressive defensive numbers, most notably sitting at 22nd in points allowed.

Some of that is winning shootouts like the 48-45 win in Detroit or even losing 39-32 against the Saints. But the key game is the Week 2 loss to the 49ers.

The Seahawks scored just one touchdown and it came on a blocked field-goal return. The defense technically held quarterback Geno Smith and the rest of the Seattle offense in check all game long.

Yes, the Seahawks running game, led by rookie Kenneth Walker III, has improved since then. But if the Niners defense is still at full strength by Week 15, there’s no reason to believe they can’t hold them down again, even in Seattle.

Result: W

Record: 9-5