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49ers Go 8-9 in Game-by-Game Predictions

Inconsistencies and a tough schedule down the stretch leave the 49ers on the outside looking in.

The NFL schedule has officially been released, meaning we now know the path in which the 49ers will take as they look to get back to the NFC Championship Game. From Week 1 to Week 18, these are my game-by-game predictions for the 49ers 2022 season.

Week 1: at Chicago Bears

The Bears are a team that will be in the running for the No. 1 pick in the 2023 draft. It’s to no fault of Justin Fields, and the new regime could end up panning out, but their current roster is among the worst in the NFL. Trey Lance gets a nice tune up game to begin his first year as San Francisco’s starter, and the 49ers get a nice win to begin the season.

Result: 49ers 23, Bears 10

Week 2: vs Seattle Seahawks

The Seahawks are another team that will be in the running for the No. 1 pick. All jokes aside, you can almost copy and paste the rest of what was said about the Bears and say exactly that about the Seahawks. Seattle is far better when it comes to the skill positions, but their quarterback and defense are both suspect. That said, this is a divisional game where nothing is ever given. The 49ers will win, but by no means is this a cake walk.

Result: 49ers 24, Seahawks 17

Week 3: at Denver Broncos

The 49ers will face a familiar foe in Russell Wilson when they travel to Mile High to take on the Broncos. Denver is incredibly skilled offensively, and their defense features some notable names as well. Going on the road to face a team such as Denver, who have real Super Bowl aspirations, is going to be an early test for Lance and the 49ers -- a test that sees Denver come out the victor.

Result: Broncos 27, 49ers 17

Week 4: vs Los Angeles Rams

The reigning Super Bowl champions will come to the Bay for the first of the two matchups between these two NFC West foes. The Rams may have lost some depth, but they are even more top heavy than they were in 2021. With the acquisitions of Bobby Wagner and Allen Robinson, the Rams added two of the best at their respective positions as they try to be the first team to repeat as Super Bowl champions since the 2004 Patriots. This will be Trey Lance's first start against the Rams, and it won’t be an easy one. Los Angeles has the better quarterback, and more weapons on both sides of the ball -- they will take the win in this Monday night affair.

Result: Rams 34, 49ers 16

Week 5: at Carolina Panthers

Kudos to the Panthers for building one of the best young defenses on paper in the NFL. With a unit that features two top 10 picks at the cornerback position in Jaycee Horn and C.J. Henderson, as well as the likes of Brian Burns and Derrick Brown, the Panthers will be a tough out every week. That said, their quarterback situation is among the worst in the NFL. Whether it is Sam Darnold, P.J. Walker or Matt Corral, Carolina just won’t have what it takes under center to win close games.

Result: 49ers 20, Panthers 9

Week 6: at Atlanta Falcons

The Falcons are a team that will be in the ru... okay, I’ll stop with the bit, but you get the gist. The Falcons are going to be bad. Going from potentially landing Deshaun Watson to getting Marcus Mariota is like leading the Super Bowl 28-3 and then losing in overtime. Aside from A.J. Terrell, Cordarrelle Patterson and Kyle Pitts occasionally, Atlanta has no talent that jumps off the screen. This should be the easiest win of the year for the 49ers.

Result: 49ers 31, Falcons 13

Week 7: vs Kansas City Chiefs

The Chiefs have a noticeably different corps of players on both sides of the ball. With both Tyreek Hill and Tyrann Mathieu gone, this is a different Chiefs team than what we have grown accustomed to over the past four seasons. However, they still have No. 15 Kermit the Cannon under center, and Travis Kelce is still the best tight end in the league. Not to mention that the Chiefs recovered from a horrendous first half of 2021 and their defense was one of the top units in the second half of the season. Points will be at a premium for both sides, but the Chiefs have the better quarterback and head coach, which is why they will get the win at Levi’s.

Result: Chiefs 20, 49ers 10

Week 8: at Los Angeles Rams

This is easily the toughest back-to-back stretch the 49ers will have in 2022. It will be interesting to see how Lance bounces back against the Rams after already losing the first matchup, especially should he play poorly against the Chiefs. All things considered, though, the Rams are just better. Everyone can point to previous games in which San Francisco beat the Rams with less than stellar quarterback play, but Los Angeles with Sean McVay and Matthew Stafford is better than San Francisco. This game will be closer than the first meeting between the two, but the Rams will sweep the 49ers.

Result: Rams 28, 49ers 23

Week 9: Bye

Week 10: vs Los Angeles Chargers

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It seems as if we drink the Chargers Kool-Aid every year, but it is hard to not like what they have put together this offseason. Trading for Khalil Mack and signing J.C. Jackson, as well as re-signing Mike Williams, gives the Chargers arguably the NFL’s best roster on paper. The 49ers will keep it close if not for the fact that Brandon Staley makes too many questionable decisions, but the Chargers talent will win out.

Result: Chargers 29, 49ers 22

Week 11: at Arizona Cardinals

Arizona and San Francisco will be battling one another for second place in the NFC West. Kyler Murray is one of the most special, and unique, quarterbacks in the league, and is only getting better. While the Cardinals lost Chandler Jones, they still have multiple notable defenders, including star defensive back Budda Baker. Plus, Arizona is deeper at receiver than the 49ers are at cornerback. While there have been multiple fair criticisms of Kliff Kingsbury and how he has utilized such players as Rondale Moore, one would think he would learn and adjust to get the ball in his playmakers’ hands. Murray has won two of his past three starts against the 49ers, and will make it three out of four in their Week 11 matchup in a nail biter.

Result: Cardinals 24, 49ers 23

Week 12: vs New Orleans Saints

Everyone seems high on the Saints, but I’m not biting. Defensively, they are certainly a force to be reckoned with, but we need to see it offensively. Fans will throw Jameis’ 14-3 touchdown-to-interception ratio in your face, but let's not act as if he was playing at an MVP level. He threw for fewer than 200 yards in three of the six starts he completed, and was brutal in starts against Carolina and New England, respectively. He will make his mistakes, and the 49ers will capitalize on them to earn a win.

Result: 49ers 28, Saints 17

Week 13: vs Miami Dolphins

The Miami Dolphins are a big case of “We’ll see.” They could be a breakout playoff team or win six games. Tua Tagovailoa’s ability to make plays downfield is still a big question mark. They seem to be playing the game of relying on YAC with Jaylen Waddle and Tyreek Hill, so we’ll see how it plays out. Regardless, the 49ers will spoil Mike McDaniel’s return to San Francisco.

Result: 49ers 30, Dolphins 18

Week 14: vs Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Tampa Bay still has one of the best rosters in football. Tom Brady beating father time is talked about enough, but being an MVP candidate at age 44 is remarkable. Chris Godwin deciding to stay in Tampa Bay was a big plus for their offense, and defensively they are still strong. Overall, the better team with the better quarterback and roster will win as the season winds down, and that is Tampa Bay.

Result: Buccaneers 27, 49ers 19

Week 15: at Seattle Seahawks

It doesn’t seem to matter the construction of the respective rosters, these two teams always play each other hard. Thursday night games tend to lean in favor of the underdog, and the Seahawks will certainly be that in this game. That said, don’t undersell the value of a great head coach, which Pete Caroll is. Seattle will pull off the win and avoid the sweep.

Result: Seahawks 21, 49ers 20

Week 16: vs Washington Commanders

The Commanders were a seven win team with Taylor Heinicke at the helm, and without Chase Young and Curtis Samuel for the vast majority of the season. They got an upgrade at quarterback by acquiring Carson Wentz, and they also added another weapon in Jahan Dotson via their first round pick in the 2022 NFL draft. Washington is my pick to win the NFC East, and they will be a force down the stretch, stealing the win against the 49ers.

Result: Commanders 23, 49ers 14

Week 17: at Las Vegas Raiders

The Las Vegas Raiders would win just about any other division they played in. After being a playoff team in 2021, they added Davante Adams and Chandler Jones to their roster. Both teams will be starving for a win at this point in the season and fighting for playoff spots in their respective conferences. The fact that Vegas is at home will help them secure a victory, and all but stick a fork in San Francisco’s playoff hopes.

Result: Raiders 33, 49ers 24

Week 18: vs Arizona Cardinals

The 49ers will close their season at home against Arizona, who will also be vying for playoff position. That said, Arizona will already be locked into a playoff spot by this point, and could look to rest some notable starters. Not to mention the fact that it has been rare that a sweep occurs between these two teams over the past three seasons.

Result: 49ers 34, Cardinals 14

Final Record: 8-9