As fans, we all start the season looking for a reason to hope. In 2008, I attended the San Francisco 49ers home finale, which was a win on a last-second field goal against the Washington Redskins. Mike Singletary had the interim tag removed from his name and the future was bright. The team took a step forward in 2009, going 8-8. In fact, they were a yard away against the Arizona Cardinals from possibly winning the division. Alex Smith was improved and the team was the trendy NFC West pick in 2010, if not a Super Bowl contender.
Then 2010 happened. 6-10. We saw miserable play and miserable coaching. After 2010, I think we all need to have more realistic expectations. Jim Harbaugh will probably move the team in the right direction, but after Dennis Erickson, Mike Nolan, and Mike Singletary, please forgive me if I am a little gun-shy regarding new coaches. Heck, at this point I am “bazooka-shy.” In these predictions, the main thing I am looking for is opponents’ continuity at the quarterback and coaching positions, especially early in the season. Since there was no offseason, there is going to be an unusual divide between the haves and have-nots in 2011. So, here is a realistic, albeit a bit pessimistic, prediction for each 49ers game this year.