What’s going on faithfuls! I’m back to bring some more fun to your day! Today’s bold predictions will shock and surprise many of you, so let’s just get right to it!
1. Kendrick Bourne has a better game than Emmanuel Sanders – I know people are thinking “you’re just saying that because of the touchdowns Bourne had last week,” but that’s not the case. Teams are going to put forth a concerted effort to shut down Sanders, and that leaves Samuel and Bourne as the top dawg WRs. While I think all 3 contribute in a major way, I believe Bourne benefits the most from the Falcons’ game plan.
2. Three total touchdowns for Coleman – I want to be clear and to the point here. I do not think Coleman has a great day when it comes to yardage. The flip is, Shanahan will celebrate his birthday (today) by using Tevin Coleman to do his dirty work. Both people coming from Atlanta, will have extra juice to look better than their adversaries. My prediction is simply 1 rushing touchdown, 2 receiving.
3. Jimmy Garoppolo continues his dominance – Since the acquisition of Emmanuel Sanders, people have noticed the uptick in production from the 6th year gunslinger. The difference is often credited to Sanders, but I don’t think that’s the main factor. Often we’ve seen where Shanahan’s QB needs a full season in the system to find their stride. I think we’re witnessing The turning point. Yes, Sanders has been phenomenal for Garoppolo, and yes the targets to Sanders suggest he’s Jimmy’s new favorite weapon. My eyes tell me much more. Jimmy Garoppolo has been more decisive as he drops back, he’s showing significantly more trust in his arm, and he’s even showing more trust in all the other receivers on the team. Deebo Samuel and Kendrick Bourne suddenly look like they could contribute on any NFL roster! Is it due to Sanders? Is it due to coaching? Perhaps. But it’s true that it could also be #10. Someone once told me “a good quarterback will go as far as his team allows him. He won’t make mistakes and he’ll manage a game to perfection more often than not. But a great quarterback will elevate the productivity of anyone you put on the field with him.” All season long we’ve complained about dropped passes and missed opportunities. I don’t think it’s a coincidence that we’ve never had much outrage towards Jimmy Garoppolo. Under most circumstances, Jimmy has delivered and given his weapons an opportunity. Aside from 6 throws directly to defenders all season long, the 49ers’ QB has been elevating the expectations of this team, as well as his status of “Good” to “Elite.” Jimmy throws for 350+ yards and another 3 or 4 touchdowns.
4. Deforest Buckner has two sacks – There isn’t much to explain here. The reason this is in the bold prediction segment is because the 49ers defensive line has been under attack lately. A narrative is starting to make way around social media, that the team is in need of new/different/a healthy defensive lineman. Buckner will silence the whisper beat writer(s) and by showing he’s “got this”
5. Nick Mullens takes snaps – This is imperative to display just how much I expect the 49ers to be in control. Most people will assume that Jimmy is injured if Mullens takes significant snaps, but not today. The 49ers are in such control throughout this game, that they sit a lot of their offensive starters.
6. Dante Pettis is back – And not just on the field. Pettis has been sidelined for a few weeks. The healthy, (yet absent) WR has been spending much of his time in the doghouse of head coach Kyle Shanahan. With the recent roster move of putting Marquise Goodwin on IR, the 49ers were left with 5 active WRs, the team then went out and (re)signed Jordan Matthews. I don’t expect Matthews to take any snaps over Pettis so I think we see him step in. Not only will he run routes and have a few receptions, Pettis will not have the fewest receiving yards at his position. Pettis has had time to think and consider what is at stake. Expect him to be physical in the run game, decisive as a route runner and fearless across the middle. Touchdown, Pettis!