The San Francisco 49ers are beginning to look more and more like their head coach, Mike Singletary. The 49ers should be a hard nosed team that wins games by grinding it out on the ground. San Francisco is going to have a solid defense and an average offense but that will not hold them back in the weak NFC West.
San Francisco is the pick among most sports writers handicapping the NFC West and for good reason. Their only competition is an Arizona Cardinals team that has undergone a major remodel and lost leaders on the offense and defense. San Francisco will try to take their ball control run and short yardage passing game to the NFL Playoffs and their chances are looking up.
San Francisco 49ers Running Game is Their Best Asset
Frank Gore has been the best player on his San Francisco 49ers team since he arrived in the Bay Area. Gore has never been involved with a team with a great passing offense and has been forced to earn every yard in his career, playing for the San Francisco 49ers.
During the 2009 NFL season San Francisco did experiment with a spread offense but quickly realized it was not going to work. San Francisco went back to their I formation and stuffed the ball down their opponents throat. The offensive style of the team resembled their coach Mike Singletary, a vicious, hard hitting linebacker in his NFL career.
San Francisco 49ers Receivers Should Show Improvement in the 2010 NFL Season
The San Francisco 49ers receivers did not have a 1,000 yard receiver among them. Vernon Davis, the tight end, was the leading yard gainer on the team with 965 yards. Michael Crabtree, the athletic wide receiver that held out for five games to start the 2009 NFL season, still had 625 yards receiving in 11 games as he learned the San Francisco system on the fly.
Crabtree should be a 1,200 yards plus receiver in the 2010 NFL season. Anything less from Crabtree will be a huge disappointment. The question for the San Francisco 49ers will be who will win the spot as the number two wide out across from Crabtree? Josh Morgan is a big hard to tackle receiver that is good with the ball after the catch. His route running leaves much to be desired.
Recently acquired Ted Ginn Jr is one of the most exciting returners in the NFL but his trouble catching the ball with defenders bearing down on him is disheartening. If Ginn Jr can develop into a slot receiver along the lines of a Wes Welker, he could be legendary. Ginn Jr under the watchful eye of the ultimate alpha male, Mike SIngletary may be just what the doctor ordered to get Ginn Jr in line.
San Francisco 49ers Defense Will Win Them NFC West
The San Francisco 49ers defense was phenomenal in the 2009 NFL season. They went through a stretch of five games without allowing a touchdown. The 3-4 defense employed by defensive coordinator, Greg Manusky, was stellar against the run but they were vulnerable to the pass, especially in late game situations.
San Francisco had a decent pass coverage tandem in the 2009 but even though Shawntae Spencer had the best season of his career at corner, it was not good enough. Spencer is a solid cover corner with good instincts but he doesn’t possess the skill to be a top 15 corner in the league.
Across from Spencer is another cornerback that struggled in the 2009 NFL season. Nate Clements noticeably lost a step last year and was picked on at times by quarterbacks around the league. Don’t be surprised if Karl Paymah supplants a slower Clements early in the 2010 NFL season or to start the season.
San Francsico 49ers are a Favorite in Las Vegas to Win NFC West
The San Francisco 49ers are a 20-1 shot to win the Super Bowl according to the Las Vegas Hilton Superbook. San Francisco is also the favorite at -135 to win the NFC West and the Las Vegas Hilton Superbook has their over/under win total set at 8.5 wins.
San Francisco’s offense just has to stay out of trouble and score slowly and methodically. The San Francisco defense is a unit that is capable of creating havoc and will benefit from increased turnovers this year. Look for the 49ers to win 10-11 games in the 2010 NFL Season.
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