Saturday, August 18, 2012

To The Smithy: San Francisco 49ers Season Preview

2011 Record: 13-3
NFC West Champions, lost to Giants in NFC Championship Game

2011 Ranks
Total Offense: 26
Rush Offense: 8
Pass Offense: 29
Scoring Offense: 11
Total Defense: 4
Rush Defense: 1
Pass Defense: 16
Scoring Defense: 2


Alex Smith had the best year of his career last season in an offense that really didn't have any quality receivers. The 49ers addressed that in free agency this year, adding Randy Moss and Mario Manningham. The 49ers will still be a run-heavy offense with Frank Gore carrying the load. The 49ers used a lot of unbalanced lines last year, sometimes lining up as many as 7 offensive linemen. That's a lot of beef up front, but they were able to keep Alex Smith clean and efficient, not putting him in bad situations where he had to force throws to win games.


The 49ers had one of the most fearsome defenses in the league last year. Rookie speed rusher Aldon Smith piled up 14 sacks and Justin Smith added 7 more from a 3-4 defensive end spot that really isn't known for pass rushing. The 49ers return all of their starters on defense and should be just as dominant on all 3 levels this season.


The 49ers led the league in turnovers forced last year with 38 takeaways. On the other side, they had the offense with the best ball security, only committing 10 turnovers on the season. Winning the turnover battle is a great way to win games, and without an offense that puts up a ton of yards, their defense gave them a lot of short fields to work with. Alex Smith's development on offense will be a key, along with the continued development of pass rusher Aldon Smith.


The 49ers are clearly the best team in this division with possibly the best defense in the NFC. The rest of their division has improved so I don't think they'll put up 13 wins again, but they should win the division pretty easily. 11-5.

No comments: