Originally posted by maltz88:
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.
Dont really mind any of your other arguments but a few things I wanted to point out:
1. If you saw any 49ers games last year, you would know Crabtree was never a "gamebreaker" type of receiver. He was a great possession receiver who made his living on short/intermediate routes and YAC. I think his longest catch was 49 yds on a catch and run. Boldin, while probably not as explosive or fast as crab, does many of the same things Crab did. While there might be a slight drop-off, I think Boldin makes up for some of that production.
2. Also, what is with outsiders thinking that Sopoaga is good?. Is it the fact that he's a 320 pound Polynesian guy? He's big and strong but other than that, he was awful last season. PFF graded him as one of the worst NT in the league. Even some of the of players are saying that his replacement(Ian Williams, who's been really impressive all offseason) is an upgrade.
3. Finally, while Goldson was good, he, like Soap, is also overrated. Sure, he makes big hits and gets a few INT here or there, but he misses too many tackles and blows too many coverages for a player with the hype that he has. On multiple ocassions, he drew 15 yards on unnecessary penalties as well.
[ Edited by Timdiz on Aug 28, 2013 at 5:45 PM ]