Stan Szeto-USA TODAY Sports

Stan Szeto-USA TODAY Sports

CBS Sports predicts rough start for 49ers with Trey Lance saving the season

Jun 1, 2021 at 10:37 AM--

CBS Sports' Cody Benjamin went through the San Francisco 49ers schedule, predicting the outcome of each game and coming up with a projected record for Kyle Shanahan's squad. The writer has the Niners finishing with a 12-5 record. However, a significant number of those losses are predicted to come early with quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo at the helm of the offense.

Benjamin has San Francisco coming out of the gate with two road wins against the Detroit Lions and Philadelphia Eagles. After that, things fall apart. The 49ers are predicted to lose four straight in a stretch that includes the Green Bay Packers, Seattle Seahawks, Arizona Cardinals, and Indianapolis Colts.

It's during that Week 7 game hosting the Colts that Benjamin predicts Shanahan will make a switch at quarterback, sidelining Garoppolo for the No. 3 overall draft pick, Trey Lance.

"Three straight losses and a Week 6 bye prompt Shanahan to officially kick off the Trey Lance experiment," wrote Benjamin. "The rookie QB flashes in front of a fired-up crowd but is coaxed into two costly turnovers against a veteran Colts defense."

The losing streak finally ends, and the rebounding 49ers lose only one more game — a Week 10 matchup against the Los Angeles Rams — for the rest of the season.

Here's a week-to-week breakdown of how Benjamin predicts things going for the Niners in 2021. The losses are in bold.

Week 1 at Lions: 49ers win 31-20
Week 2 at Eagles: 49ers win 29-21
Week 3 vs. Packers: 49ers lose 28-24
Week 4 vs. Seahawks: 49ers lose 26-23
Week 5 at Cardinals: 49ers lose 34-26
Week 7 vs. Colts: 49ers lose 24-20
Week 8 at Bears: 49ers win 26-22
Week 9 vs. Cardinals: 49ers win 31-27
Week 10 vs. Rams: 49ers lose 27-20
Week 11 at Jaguars: 49ers win 27-17
Week 12 vs. Vikings: 49ers win 24-17
Week 13 at Seahawks: 49ers win 24-21
Week 14 at Bengals: 49ers win 29-26
Week 15 vs. Falcons: 49ers win 41-27
Week 16 at Titans: 49ers win 24-19
Week 17 vs. Texans: 49ers win 37-13
Week 18 at Rams: 49ers win 27-24

You can head over to the feature from CBS Sports for a full breakdown and explanation of each matchup's predicted outcome.

Benjamin also predicted the outcome for the Rams, envisioning Sean McVay's squad to finish 10-7. He hasn't run through the Seahawks or Cardinals schedule yet.

Another CBS Sports writer, Patrik Walker, predicted that the Seahawks would also finish 12-5. The two writers' features appear unrelated, as each has different 49ers-Seahawks Week 4 and Week 13 outcomes.

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