49ers Predictions

Maiocco's NFL predictions: 49ers' Super Bowl quest comes up short

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The 49ers’ fan base has every reason to have high expectations.

Through drafts, trades and free-agent acquisitions, general manager John Lynch has assembled one of the top rosters in the NFL.

The 49ers had an NFL-high eight players on the recently released NFL Top 100 list, and six of those players were acquired through recent drafts. The hit on Brock Purdy — at least for now — offsets the miss on Trey Lance.

Of course, the 49ers need to get the No. 4 player on that list, edge rusher Nick Bosa, signed as soon as possible. Yes, that would definitely be beneficial to the team.

There are few offensive strategists better than coach Kyle Shanahan, who also earns tons of respect from the locker room for his honesty and his ability to explain the variations and reasons behind his every move.

The coaching staff goes through another change this season with Steve Wilks entering the picture as defensive coordinator to replace DeMeco Ryans, whom the Houston Texans hired as head coach. The 49ers are a hot team, as evidenced by the recent hirings of former assistants Robert Saleh, Mike McDaniel and Ryans to head-coaching jobs the past three offseason.

The 49ers are certainly one of the favorites to go all the way. They have come close in three of the past four seasons. But it seems the closer a team gets one year, the more difficult it becomes to get back there the next.

First, there are no guarantees the 49ers will win the NFC West. The Seattle Seahawks appear to be a team on the rise.

And the playoffs are a different beast, too, with injuries and the flow of the season playing huge factors in those crucial games featuring a dwindling number of surviving postseason teams.

But this season is still going to be the Philadelphia Eagles and the 49ers at the end.

The Eagles will not be as dominant after losing seven defensive starters and both coordinators from a year ago.

Philadelphia draws a big advantage of playing host to the 49ers in the regular season. And that will be the game that swings the tie-breaker for the No. 1 seed, ensuring if there is a rematch of the NFC Championship Game, it will again be in Philadelphia.

The AFC is packed with Kansas City, Buffalo, Miami, the New York Jets, Cincinnati, Baltimore, Pittsburgh and Jacksonville.

Any one of those teams can go all the way, but we’re placing our bet on a dark horse.

This is the season the Los Angeles Chargers break the Chiefs’ run of seven consecutive division titles. And the Chargers are not stopping there.

OK, it’s an obvious disadvantage the Chargers play in front of essentially a road crowd every game. But as long as coach Brandon Staley does not get too carried with the analytics and he avoids an abundance of turnover on downs, the Chargers have the quarterback with Justin Herbert and the talent on both sides of the ball to win the franchise’s first championship.

Here is a look at our predictions for the 2023 NFL season:


1-L.A. Chargers (13-4)

2-Kansas City (12-5)

3-Las Vegas (8-9)

4-Denver (7-10)


1-Miami (11-6)

2-N.Y. Jets (10-7)

3-Buffalo (9-8)

3-New England (7-10)


1-Cincinnati (12-5)

2-Pittsburgh (10-7)

3-Baltimore (9-8)

4-Cleveland (8-9)


1-Jacksonville (10-7)

2-Tennessee (8-9)

3-Houston (6-11)

4-Indianapolis (3-14)

AFC Playoffs

First round: (5) Kansas City over (4) Jacksonville; (3) Miami over (6) Pittsburgh; (2) Cincinnati over (7) N.Y. Jets

Second round: (1) L.A. Chargers over Kansas City; Cincinnati over Miami

AFC Championship: L.A. Chargers over Cincinnati


1-49ers (12-5)

2-Seattle (11-6)

3-L.A. Rams (5-12)

4-Arizona (0-17)


1-Philadelphia (12-5)

2-Dallas (11-6)

3-N.Y. Giants (10-7)

4-Washington (6-11)


1-Detroit (11-6)

2-Minnesota (9-8)

3-Chicago (7-10)

4-Green Bay (6-11)


1-Atlanta (10-5)

2-New Orleans (8-9)

3-Tampa Bay (6-11)

4-Carolina  (5-12)

NFC Playoffs

First round: (2) 49ers over (7) N.Y. Giants; (3) Detroit over (6) Seattle; (4) Atlanta over Dallas (5)

Second round: (1) Philadelphia over Falcons; 49ers over Detroit

NFC Championship: Eagles over 49ers


Feb. 11, 2024, in Las Vegas

L.A. Chargers over Eagles


MVP/Offensive Player of the Year: QB Justin Herbert, L.A. Chargers

Defensive Player of the Year: DE Micah Parsons, Dallas
Coach of the Year: Arthur Smith, Atlanta
Comeback Player of the Year: CB Damar Hamlin, Buffalo
Offensive Rookie of the Year: RB Bijan Robinson, Atlanta
Defensive Rookie of the Year: DE Will Anderson, Texans

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