Originally posted by SofaKing:
10-6....LMAO. We've got a real franchise QB starting 16 games. Best o-line/run-game. Top defense. Top coaching. Yet somehow we're a declining team. Yeah right.
To preface this, I'm a Seattle fan, but their projections don't seem that far off base to me.
SF was 11-4-1 last year.
You will have a real franchise QB starting 16 games (assuming he stays healthy), but the guy he replaced last year was 6-2 when he replaced him. Ironically the tie game is when CK replaced him, so you can take the tie out of the equation. Do you expect CK to make up 2 games as Smith's replacement? I think if you asked any team, or any fan, you'd take 6-2 out of any
8 game stretch in the NFL.
So, I don't see CK making that much difference over a full season. Don't mistake this for me saying I think Smith and CK are on the same level, I don't think they're even close, but just looking at a wins over replacement type scenario.
Couple that with the fact that you now remove Crabtree from that team that was 11-4-1, and replace him with Boldin who is a great posession receive but is not a game breaker by any means, and the rest of the WR cast is basically unknown. Remove Sapoaga, and Goldson from the defense. Now you have a team that is still a fantastic team that doesn't appear to have gotten any better on paper at least, that plays in an improving division, and is coming off a Super Bowl appearance, so teams will again be gunning for them.....again.
Not to put anyone up in arms with this, I'm just saying the prediction doesn't seem that far off to me.
You can do the same scenario to Seattle. Tons of injuries to start the year this season, had an unknown at QB that snuck up on some people last year (won't happen again), went undefeated at home (unlikely to happen again), etc. etc.
My take is if you put either Seattle or SF in another division they're probably 12 win teams. But since they're both in the NFC West with improving St. Louis and Arizona teams, I think both teams are 10-6 teams +/- 1 win. Probably the healthier team wins the division. Which is I believe exactly what Sando said.