The 49ers ended the 2017 season winning their final five games, all with Jimmy Garoppolo as their starting quarterback. With Garoppolo entering his first full season in San Francisco, there’s plenty of hope for that success to carry over into the team’s 2018 schedule.
Beyond their six-game NFC West slate, the Niners also face the NFC North and AFC West. They have a good chance to improve by several games in Kyle Shanahan’s second season as head coach after rallying to finish 6-10 last season.
Bottom line: Garoppolo already has proved to be a game-changer for the 49ers, and momentum has proved a key factor in projecting near-future results. The 49ers will live up to being a buzz-worthy team by taking advantage of a favorable schedule, putting them in the wild-card conversation in the top-heavy NFC. Record prediction: 10-6
As a developmental league, the AAF won’t be picky about where it finds talent. It can’t afford to be.
“I would say this is a league of opportunity,” Ebersol said. “And I would welcome the opportunity to coach those kinds of guys.”
The AAF plans to start with eight teams playing a 10-game regular season. Franchises will be located in Orlando, Atlanta, Memphis, Salt Lake City, and Arizona. Three more teams will be announced.
It’s unlikely that the AAF will be able to pay a guy like Kaepernick enough money to persuade him to play. But if he doesn’t play there, it apparently won’t have anything to do with his protests during the national anthem.