The NFL schedule makers were not kind to the San Francisco 49ers to kick off the 2018 season. The team, which finished last season with five-straight wins, will be tested early in games against the Minnesota Vikings, Detroit Lions, Kansas City Chiefs, and Los Angeles Chargers. Three of those games will be on the road.

The 49ers will also face the Green Bay Packers and Los Angeles Rams before the mid-season point. Defensive coordinator Robert Saleh doesn't want to automatically assume that last year's hot streak will continue into the upcoming season. He does, however, believe his squad is capable of another late-season run should it stumble out of the gate.

"If we are sitting at 4-4, don't be surprised. But the run is going to happen," Saleh told "There's no doubt in my mind that the end-of-season run is going to happen. It's just about how quickly we can get that run started."

Quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo was a big part of last year's 5-0 finish. Head coach Kyle Shanahan knows his signal caller isn't likely to remain undefeated forever. He is a perfect 7-0 as a starter with the New England Patriots and 49ers.

"There's no doubt he's going to face a lot of adversity," Shanahan said at the NFL Scouting Combine. "All of the good ones do. Every quarterback in the world does, and it's how you respond to that. Jimmy hasn't had to go through that yet because he hasn't had a lot of playing time.

"Every time he has played, I keep waiting for it to happen and he ends up playing pretty good. I know it's a matter of time, and it will happen. Hopefully, not right away, but I know it will. We'll respond to it, and see how he adjusts, and keep getting better through it."

The 49ers lost five-straight games in 2017 by three-or-fewer points. The team easily could have finished the season 11-5 rather than 6-10, assuming it still pulled the trigger on the trade for Garoppolo. The 49ers are being lauded as a potential playoff team in 2018.

Saleh realizes that fast turnarounds are not uncommon in the NFL, as long as the right personnel and system are in place. The 49ers, who finished last in the NFC West, could be the latest team to go from worst to first.

"When a team is trying to make the jump, the first half of the year they make the jump is a beast," Saleh said. "You're going to win and lose some crazy games. I feel like in the second half of the year, it's going to take off again."

You can read more from Joe Fann's article about Saleh and the 49ers being a potential breakout team in 2018 here.