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Three Bold Predictions For The 49ers In 2022

The San Francisco 49ers are coming off a 10-7 season in which they were one score shy of their second Super Bowl appearance in the Kyle Shanahan era. With a changing of the guard at the quarterback position, 22-year-old Trey Lance looks to lead the Niners to new heights this season.

The 49ers will embark on their quest for six this Sunday when they visit Chicago to face the Bears in their season opener. San Francisco is going into this game without free safety Jimmie Ward, who will start the season on short-term injured reserve after suffering a hamstring injury during the preseason. Outside of Ward, the team is relatively healthy going into the season.

The Niners also made some key additions during the off-season that are worth noting. The 49ers signed former Kansas City Chiefs cornerback Charvarius Ward to be the CB1 this season. Ward excels in man coverage and will allow the Niners’ defense to make it more difficult for opposing receivers trying to create separation. San Francisco also drafted former USC defensive end Drake Jackson in the second round of the NFL Draft to add more depth to what is already one of the deepest defensive fronts in the NFL.

There are high expectations revolving around the 49ers this season. Here are three bold predictions for the Niners 2022 campaign.

Former 49ers’ Second Overall Pick Goes All-Pro

One of the biggest snubs from the NFL all-pro selections last season was 49ers defensive end Nick Bosa. In 2021, the former defensive rookie of the year finished with 15.5 sacks, 32 QB hits and four forced fumbles while starting all 17 games. Bosa also led the NFL in tackles for a loss with 21 TFLs out of his 52 total tackles while being double-teamed at an extremely high rate last season.

With defensive tackle Javon Kinlaw healthy and Arik Armstead moving to the interior full-time, this defensive line should give opposing quarterbacks nightmares. And considering the depth of Samson Ebukam, Charles Omenihu and Drake Jackson on the opposite side, expect Bosa to feast this season. Having Charvarius Ward at corner should also make it harder for opposing QBs to find an open man. Last season, Bosa was able to produce at an elite level while corners like Josh Norman and Dre Kirkpatrick struggled to cover receivers. Now that the defense has improved overall, a 20-sack season from Bosa is very possible.


Incoming Breakout Season For A Third-Year 49er

San Francisco advanced to the Super Bowl for the 2019-2020 season heavily due to their dominance on defense. In a surprise move that off-season, San Francisco traded star defensive tackle, DeForest Buckner, to Indianapolis for their first-round pick which led to the selection of DT Javon Kinlaw. Ever since the selection, fans have expected Kinlaw to hopefully replace Buckner on the interior. Unfortunately, that hasn’t been the case. At least not yet.

Kinlaw has only played 18 games in his first two seasons with the 49ers due to a lingering knee injury which was finally repaired this past year. Going into 2022, it seems as if the knee issues have been fully resolved and we will get to see Kinlaw play without limitations. With tremendous size, long arms and good athleticism, Kinlaw could make fans forget about Buckner by reaching his potential. Nick Bosa will demand most of the attention from opposing offensive lines and Arik Armstead will be the other interior contributor, which opens the door for a breakout season. Look for Kinlaw to accumulate 8 sacks and be one of the best defenders against the run this year.

The 49ers Earn A Chance At Redemption

After losing to the Los Angeles Rams who went on to win the Super Bowl last season, the 49ers have made a push on paper this off-season to move the needle. With the hope that Trey Lance is an upgrade over Jimmy Garoppolo and adding pieces to their already dominant defense, the Niners are looking to run the table. This is fitting for the final prediction, the San Francisco 49ers will advance to the Super Bowl.

Luckily for the Niners, the NFC doesn’t seem to be the juggernaut of the NFL. It’s the AFC that seems to be loaded with more talent. The QBs alone are a gauntlet for the AFC. Patrick Mahomes, Joe Burrow, Lamar Jackson, Justin Herbert, Josh Allen, Russell Wilson and Deshaun Watson are all in the AFC. For the NFC, the Rams lost a handful of starters from their championship roster, Aaron Rodgers lost his number one receiver, the Seahawks traded Russell Wilson to Denver in a commitment to rebuild and the Cardinals will be without Deandre Hopkins for the first six games.

It seems as if there are only two sure threats to the 49ers in 2022, the Rams and the Buccaneers. After seeing how San Francisco could win two playoff games with no touchdown passes from the QB position and lock up high-powered offenses, it’s not crazy to think that with a mobile QB with the ability to push the ball downfield, a number one corner, and a healthy Javon Kinlaw move the needle this season. If this 49er team can remain relatively healthy, their sixth Lombardi Trophy is their ceiling.

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