2019 49ers schedule predictions: Wins, losses projected for season
Week 1: at Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Tampa Bay has the No. 5 pick in the draft but has said to be sticking with Jameis Winston at QB. Although this might not be a stacked draft class for quarterbacks, Famous Jameis' time may be coming to an end in Tampa. The 49ers should be able to take advantage of a defense that allowed 29 points per game last season and start the year off with a win.
Week 2: at Cincinnati Bengals
The Bengals could stick it out another year with Andy Dalton or take a swing at a quarterback in the draft this year. Either way, they're a team with middle-of-the-road talent. Joe Mixon is turning into a star when healthy, but the 49ers should have their way with the Bengals.
Week 3: vs. Pittsburgh Steelers
Antonio Brown isn't a 49er, but he's also no longer on the Steelers. An improved pass rush should help get to an aging Ben Roethlisberger, though that may not be enough. This should be a close one. JuJu Smith-Schuster might be too much for the secondary to handle.
Week 4: BYE
The 49ers get an early bye week this year, sandwiched between two home games. This marks the first time since 2002 that the 49ers have had their bye in Week 4.
Week 5: vs. Cleveland Browns (MNF)
Ahh the Odell Beckham Jr. Bowl. The receiver that got away will be the one that's in the end zone. The Browns are for real. Expect a long day for the 49ers' secondary trying to stop Baker Mayfield and all his toys on Monday Night Football.
Week 6: at Los Angeles Rams
The Rams are the team to beat in the NFC West after reaching the Super Bowl, but they're far from unbeatable. Last season, the 49ers had their first loss to the Rams in Southern California since 1986. With an improved defense to get after Jared Goff, San Francisco can find their way in the win column.
Week 7: at Washington
This should have been another revenge game for Alex Smith. But because of a gruesome leg injury suffered last year, the 49ers will face either Colt McCoy or Case Keenum. If San Francisco plays close to its potential, this is a win.
Week 8: vs. Carolina Panthers
Cam Newton missed the final two games of the regular season last year due to a shoulder injury and probably should have missed more. It's always scary trying to stop running back Christian McCaffrey, so naturally, we're guessing 49ers linebacker Fred Warner will impress everyone by tracking down the former Stanford star.
Week 9: at Arizona Cardinals (TNF)
Somehow, the 49ers lost to the Cardinals, 18-15, last year in Arizona. C.J. Beathard threw for a whole 190 yards in the loss, but both teams should have different quarterbacks. With a healthy Jimmy Garoppolo, the 49ers should be able to top the Cards on the road.
Week 10: vs. Seattle Seahawks (MNF)
The Seahawks and 49ers could both be fighting for a playoff spot this season. Adding Dee Ford and Kwon Alexander to the 49ers defense, plus adding another pass rusher in the draft, should make things much tougher on quarterback Russell Wilson during primetime.
Week 11: vs. Arizona Cardinals
Even if Kyler Murray is on the Cardinals, the team still lacks enough top-end talent to compete with the 49ers. Kliff Kingsbury and Co. will need time to figure it all out. The 49ers should be able to sweep their division series with Arizona.
Week 12: vs. Green Bay Packers
The Packers have a new head coach in Matt Lafleur, and that should certainly be a good thing for Aaron Rodgers and Co. Green Bay added some big pieces in free agency and now have two first-round draft picks to work with. Rodgers is out for vengeance, and the Packers could be in for a big bounce-back season.
Week 13: at Baltimore Ravens
This could all come down to the development of Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson. But with the addition of Mark Ingram to their power run game and Earl Thomas to an already great defense, this could be a tough matchup on the road for the 49ers.
Week 14: at New Orleans Saints
Nobody wants to face Drew Brees and the Saints in New Orleans, and the 49ers finished last in the NFL with only two interceptions in 2018. A healthy Jason Verrett and an addition in the draft could help, but the 49ers will have trouble in the Big Easy.
Week 15: vs. Atlanta Falcons
Welcome to the Tevin Coleman Bowl. The former Falcons running back could be in for a big day against an Atlanta defense that ranked 25th in the NFL by allowing 124.9 rushing yards per game last season.
Week 16: vs. Los Angeles Rams
Splitting their two-game series with the Rams would be big. The 49ers still don't exactly have a home-field advantage yet, though, and they lost to the Rams 39-10 at Levi's Stadium last year. It will be a closer contest, but not quite enough to take down Sean McVay's squad.
Week 17: at Seattle Seahawks
We're going to play the role of blind bettor here. Once someone says San Francisco playing in Seattle, you take the Seahawks. As long as Russell Wilson is healthy, a win for Seattle is the safe pick at CenturyLink Field.