Whats going on faithfuls?! Let me start off by saying that it feels good to be back in the groove of things and I’m ecstatic that the 49ers are back to football! This week’s Bold Predictions will be a little longer than normal, and not because I’m long winded, but because I am going to include predictions for both teams! So, with that being said, let’s begin!
1. Browns Challenge Sherman w/OBJ – We know that Richard Sherman has been playing well, but football is all about match-ups. Freddie Kitchens has been under a lot of scrutiny lately with his play calling, but seemed to have found his groove when he got back to the basics last week. Nicholas Chubb went ape 🤬! On the flip side, the usage of Odell Beckham Jr. has not been as dynamic. Other than week 2 against the Jets, he’s been a little “ho-hum.” Look for Kitchens to match OBJ up on Sherman and test Uncle Sherm’s confidence in his leg. Antonio Callaway makes his return and his speed would be a better served test for someone else… See below. **added after 3rd prediction – OBJ finishes with 4 catches for 32 yards and a touchdown**
2. Antonio Callaway tests Emmanuel Moseley – “E-mann” is making his first NFL start and all week long, people have been talking about how he will match up on OBJ. I don’t think we will see that as much as most do. Callaway is making his return from suspension and he brings a speed dynamic that the Browns will look to use to open up the middle of the field for Jarvis Landry (who I expect to play mostly in the slot). Both Callaway and OBJ play faster than their 40 times suggest but the dynamic of them both being on the field simultaneously is something that will throw the 49ers defense for a loop. **added after 3rd prediction – Callaway finishes with 3 catches for 47 yards**
3. Nick Chubb won’t rush for 85 yards – Let’s be honest, those first two predictions weren’t exactly “bold,” so I’m going to go back and include stats for each of them after this segment. Nick Chubb was a monster last week and he was a consistent thorn in the side of the Ravens. The 49ers run defense has been very stubborn and I expect them to remain that way. The 49ers have the 5th best rushing defense in the NFL allowing a mere 75 yards a game, and I don’t think things change too much. Browns will attempt to feed their beast but he’s going to starve on this evening.
4. Arik Armstead doubles his sack total – At this moment, there is a 3 way tie for 49ers sack leaders. Armstead, Buckner and Ford all have 2 sacks so far, but that will change in a major way! With Bosa being completely healthy, he will be getting a lot more than the limited reps he’s been seeing all season. Due to his limits, Armstead has been playing defensive end instead of defensive tackle (playing outside on the edge instead of inside the defensive line). Bosa will now get more snaps outside and this will force Armstead inside. He will destroy Bitonio and Kush (Browns’ guards) and with Bosa coming off the edge, Mayfield will be forced to step up in the pocket right into the welcoming arms of Arik Armstead. Arik will finish with 4 sacks and 2 additional tackles for loss. His best game as a 49er.
5. Deebo Samuel shows the world who he is – AND IT’S ABOUT TIME!!! Kyle Shanahan has hand picked these guys and we show the entire world exactly why. Rookie Justin Skule will have his hands full, so the 49ers will naturally slide some help his way. I expect to see Kittle and Toilolo over there helping out a ton. This will also mean a lot of quick passes out of the backfield. Garoppolo already is in the top 5 of releases in the NFL at 2.35 seconds a throw, but that will take a slight tick up (faster) due to the monster over Skule (Miles Garrett). Shanahan designs his offense to make a weakness a strength. If we have to throw quickly it won’t be check downs to RBs, it’s going to be slants to Tyshun Samuel. Samuel will have 3 passes that go for more than 30 yards and the receptions will be caught less than 10 yards from the LOS. He will also have 2 touchdowns.
6. Matt Brieda proves he’s RB1 – We are all hearing that Coleman is back. Everyone that I see talking on social media says that Coleman should be the main ball carrier. That will not sit well with Matt Breida and he is going to prove to 49ers fans, that this is HIS team. The run game goes through him and he will put his entire gambit of moves/speed on display while the entire world watches. He will finish averaging 8 yards a carry and have a rushing touchdown over 45 yards. BOOK IT!
That’s it for this week! Enjoy!