No, it is not a typo. The San Francisco 49ers will make the NFL Playoffs this upcoming year.
Think I'm crazy? Yeah, probably.
Now, to get down to business. I will list five good reasons why the 49ers have a decent shot of making this years playoffs:
1) Patrick Willis
The guy is one of the nastiest young players in the NFL. He alone came up with 226 tackles last year on a poor defense in San Francisco. He won Defensive Rookie of the Year, along with being selected to the Pro Bowl. Expect a little drop off from that this year, as the defense isn't as one tool anymore.
2) Mike Martz
The guy is an offensive specialist for a reason. He should have the offense up and running immediately, with an immediate solution to the biggest question the 49ers have....who will start at QB? Alex Smith and Shaun Hill will compete for the job, with Smith needing to put up or shut up.
3) Vernon Davis
One of the more dynamic tight ends in the game, Davis is in need of a good year, and it should come with the solution at quarterback. With Martz leading him by the nose, it'll be a big year expected from Davis, both on the line and in the slot.
4) Defensive Unity
The defense isn't marked by studs or big salaries, however for many years some of the better defenses in the league had two or fewer stars on defense, such as NE, Baltimore, and even Pittsburgh. Willis should lead, with others following suit such as Nate Clements, and Walt Harris. Not the big names, but the cohesion may lead them to defensive normality.
5) The "O-Line"
With one of the biggest offensive lines in the league, no matter who the quarterback turns out to be for the 49ers, he should have some time to throw. Down the stretch last season, the line turned out well, protecting for possible starter Shaun Hill pretty well. With Eric Heitmann, Joe Staley, and Jonas Jennings, mixed in with rookie Chilo Rachel, the line should be somewhat solid.
These factors, matched in with a stretch run with seven of the final eight games being possible wins, this 49ers team should be a contender in a weak division. Expect nine or 10 wins from them, and a birth in the NFL 2008-2009 playoffs.
Now, please go easy with the comments. No profanity at my stupidity...or boldness.
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