49ers Schedule Breakdown Pt. 1: Cardinals, Seahawks, New York, and More

  • arizona cardinals
  • Los Angeles Rams
  • Miami Dolphins
  • New England Patriots
  • New York Giants
  • New York Jets
  • Philadelphia Eagles
  • San Francisco 49ers
  • Seattle Seahawks
By Sam Corcoran August 28, 2020 0 Comment
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With the 49ers playing with a chip on their shoulder in 2020, how will the team fare in their first eight weeks of the season?

Week 1: vs. Arizona Cardinals

The 49ers kick off the season with arguably their toughest opponent for the first seven weeks, the Arizona Cardinals. After a last-place finish in 2019, the Cardinals have playoff aspirations in 2020. The additions of DeAndre Hopkins, Isaiah Simmons, and Josh Jones make the Cardinals a threat in the NFC West for years to come.

Any division game is important for every team to win. Every game against the Cardinals for San Frncisco is always a must-win game. For the past several years, the Cardinals have always seemed to have the 49ers number. Since 2014, the 49ers have lost all but three games against Arizona. If the 49ers want to win the division this year, beating Arizona both times will be a top priority.

As for the week one game itself, the Cardinals enter the game as a team with a lot of question marks surrounding them. The 49ers also have many question marks entering this game as well, specifically concerning injuries. Will Deebo Samuel and Brandon Aiyuk be available week one? Who will start at right guard and center?

Despite injuries, with Arizona having such a young core and lack of NFL experience and star power, San Francisco can easily capitalize on that and take this game. However, don’t expect the Cardinals to go down without a fight. As a team trying to prove many people wrong, Arizona will look to snatch this game from the Niners and gain a significant advantage in the division.

Prediction: 49ers 34 Cardinals 30

Week 2: @ New York Jets

The 49ers week two match-up in the Meadowlands looks a lot different than it did back in May

The months of July and August couldn’t have been worse for the New York Jets. In addition to trading Jamal Adams, star LB C.J. Mosley opted out of the 2020 season. Without Mosley, the Jets defense is just a shell of itself, and it will be difficult for the team to continue that late-season run it had last season.

Offensively, the Jets made slight improvements across the board. Sam Darnold, Jamison Crowder, and Chris Herndon are looking to have a breakout season in 2020. After a down year last season, LeVeon Bell is looking to bounce back and become the player he once was in Pittsburgh. Additionally, the Jets revamped their atrocious offensive line and drafted two promising rookies in Mekhi Becton and Denzel Mims, making the job for Darnold and Bell much easier.

At the end of the day, however, this game shouldn’t be much of a challenge for the 49ers. With a far superior team on both sides of the ball, as well as coaching, the 49ers will cruise through New York with a win and start the season off 2-0

Prediction: 49ers 38 Jets 10

Week 3: @ New York Giants

After their meeting with the Jets, the 49ers will stay in New York to face off with the Giants.

However, the 49ers may not actually “stay” in New York. Due to the issues surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic, the NFL will “strongly urge” teams to not stay on the road for long periods of time, per Larry King. With that being said, it’s likely that the 49ers will return to Santa Clara in between both games in New York, a major obstacle for the team to overcome.

On the field, the Giants enter 2020 with a promising young core. Leading the way are Daniel Jones, Saquon Barkley, Darius Slayton, and Andrew Thomas, creating the footprints to a potentially lethal offense. On the defensive side of the ball, the Giants added former Packers linebacker Blake Martinez, former Panthers defensive back James Bradberry, and drafted Xavier McKinney. Overall, the Giants have an under-the-radar team looking to make some noise in the weak NFC East.

Although the Niners seem like the better team on paper, the fact that they can’t stay in New York will hurt them significantly. Expect the Giants to capitalize on the 49ers’ struggles and challenge them down to the wire.

Despite the travel and tiredness, the Niners should win this game. With a more experienced and talented team, the Giants must play a perfect game if they want to win. Unfortunately for them, the odds aren’t in their favor, and San Francisco will squeak out of the Meadowlands with yet another win.

Prediction: 49ers 17 Giants 16

Week 4: vs. Philadelphia Eagles

The first out of five prime time games for the 49ers comes at home against the Philadelphia Eagles week 4.

After winning the lackluster NFC East in 2019, Philadelphia hopes to ride on their so-called success from last year. Despite going only 9-7, injuries piled up in the organization, leading to many players seeing the field last year for the team. After having one of the worst receiving cores and secondaries in football, the Eagles bolstered both of those areas with the additions of Jalen Reagor and Darius Slay. However, many questions cloud over both of those areas. Can J.J. Arcega-Whiteside step it up this year? Can Jalen Reagor fix his catching problems? How will DeSean Jackson do? Can Avonte Maddox be a CB2?

Even with many question marks, Philadelphia has many proven parts for the team as well. Carson Wentz and Miles Sanders lead the way on offense behind one of the best offensive lines in football. On the defensive side, the front seven led by Brandon Graham, Fletcher Cox, and Davion Taylor has been solid throughout the years.

On paper, the Niners and Eagles match up well against each other. Both teams have offenses that have a lot to prove and solid defenses that can lead a team to the playoffs. However, the 49ers far superior defense will be the X-factor in this game, and the 49ers will pull away with a W.

Prediction: 49ers 28 Eagles 20

Week 5: vs. Miami Dolphins

NFL fans should not overlook this match-up as an “easy 49ers win”

Although on paper the Niners are the far superior team, the Dolphins built a solid core this off-season. On offense, receivers Devante Parker and Preston Williams have high hopes for 2020 after breakout 2019 campaigns. In the run game, former 49er Matt Breida and Jordan Howard provide a solid run committee that will make some noise this season. Week 5 may also be the debut of fifth overall pick Tua Tagovailoa, who has looked phenomenal in training camp.

On the defensive side on the ball, Miami approved in all aspects. With the additions of Byron Jones and Noah Igbinoghene, the Dolphins solidified their secondary with them and Xavien Howard. The Dolphins also added star defensive tackle Raekwon Davis, defensive end Shaq Lawson, and linebacker Kyle Van Noy, creating a bright future for the front seven.

The one glaring hole in Miami is on the offensive line. Despite the additions of Austin Jackson, Robert Hunt, and Solomon Kindley, the Niners front seven can easily overpower this offensive line and lead the 49ers to victory. However, don’t be surprised if the Dolphins give the 49ers a tough challenge. With a fairly strong team all around, Miami might be able to capitalize on one of San Francisco’s weaknesses and turn a hard-fought Niners win into a bloodbath.

Prediction: 49ers 20 Miami 10

Week 6: vs. Los Angeles Rams

The 49ers close out their three-game home stand with a Sunday Night match-up against the Rams.

The Rams are hoping to have a bounce-back season after a disappointing one last year. Only one season removed from a Super Bowl appearance and the Rams are the favorite to finish last in the NFC West.

2020 is a make or break year for the Rams. With many large contracts sucking up their cap space, if the Rams fail this year, they may have to move some players around. One player that must step it up this season is Jared Goff. The former number one pick has been subpar throughout his career, to say the least. Goff has a strong supporting cast around him, however. With Cooper Kupp, Robert Woods, and the additions of Van Jefferson and Cam Akers, Goff has plenty of weapons to help him out along with an improved offensive line.

On the defensive side of the ball, the once loaded defense took a major hit this off-season with the loss of Cory Littleton. Despite the lack of Littleton’s presence, teams shouldn’t underestimate the Rams defense. Led by Aaron Donald and Jalen Ramsey, LA still has most of its Super Bowl LIII core still around and could be a sleeper pick for the best defense this season.

In 2019, the 49ers defense faired well against the Rams. Now, with the loss of Littleton, the 49ers offense should be able to match the production of the 49ers defense and pull away for their sixth straight win.

Prediction: 49ers 33 Rams 20

Week 7: @ New England Patriots

The undefeated 49ers head to Foxborough next to meet the new-look New England Patriots week seven.

Now led by Cam Newton, the Patriots hope to have a new identity this season while keeping their dynasty going. The majority of their offensive core remains intact, with key players like Julian Edelman and Joe Thuney leading the way along with Newton on offense.

In the 2020 off-season, the Patriots defense took a major hit. Along with Kyle Van Noy and Jamie Collins departing, linebacker Dont’a Hightower and safety Patrick Chung opted out of the season. With four key players out for New England, it will be hard for them to put up the defensive performances they put up last season. However, with Stephon Gilmore still being there and the addition of Kyle Dugger, maybe the Patriots can dominate the field once again.

Nevertheless, the 49ers offense should be able to run through the Patriots defense. The defense, on the other hand, can easily shut down the Patriots offense as well, leading to another 49ers victory

Prediction: 49ers 31 Patriots 13

Week 8: @ Seattle Seahawks

Quite possibly the biggest game of the season for the 49ers, they enter Seattle for a week 8 bloodbath between their fierce division rival

After a devastating loss week 17 last season, the Seahawks made it clear that they’re ready to compete with the 49ers yet again. By adding Quinton Dunbar and Jamal Adams, the Seahawks created arguably the league’s best secondary and should be able to shut down receiving cores across the NFL. On the other hand, the linebacker core led by Bobby Wagner and rookie Jordyn Brooks will create many challenges for the opposition.

On the offensive side of the ball, Russell Wilson has plenty of weapons surrounding him. Along with Tyler Lockett, DK Metcalf hopes to have a breakout 2020 campaign and become one of the leagues best receivers. In the running game, the Seahawks paired Chris Carson with former 49er Carlos Hyde, giving Seattle a nice one-two punch.

Any game in Seattle will be a daunting task for the 49ers to win and this time around, they won’t be able to complete that task. With a star-studded secondary and a solid linebacker core, the San Francisco offense won’t be able to do much against Seattle. The win streak will end at seven games

Prediction: 49ers 20 Seahawks 26

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