The San Francisco 49ers do not play their first regular season game for another four months, but everybody has projections and predictions in the meantime! The latest comes courtesy of ESPN NFL analyst Mike Clay. He has a detailed proprietary system to come up with a host of projections, including individual stats and team performances.
On Monday, he released score projections for every single regular season game and record predictions. The first tweet below is his score projections. It is worth noting, these are not projections for a winner of each game, but rather a way of assessing which teams are better and worse in each matchup. For example, New England is given a higher score projection in all 16 games. They’re not going undefeated, but they’re viewed as better than all 16 teams they face.
Here is how the 16 games are projected out. The number in parenthesis after the team name is the early line projected by CG Technology. Mike has the 49ers projected with a higher score in eight of the games.
Week 1: 20-26 @ Minnesota Vikings (+4.5)
Week 2: 25-24 vs. Detroit Lions (-3.5)
Week 3: 23-24 @ Kansas City Chiefs (+3)
Week 4: 21-24 @ Los Angeles Chargers (+3.5)
Week 5: 25-20 vs. Arizona Cardinals (-7) (-120)
Week 6: 23-27 @ Green Bay Packers (+4)
Week 7: 22-26 vs. Los Angeles Rams (+1)
Week 8: 24-22 @ Arizona Cardinals (-1.5)
Week 9: 25-22 vs. Oakland Raiders (-4)
Week 10: 25-23 vs. New York Giants (-6.5)
Week 12: 23-24 @ Tampa Bay Buccaneers (-1) (-120)
Week 13: 22-24 @ Seattle Seahawks (+1)
Week 14: 24-20 vs. Denver Broncos (-4.5)
Week 15: 24-22 vs. Seattle Seahawks (-3.5)
Week 16: 24-21 vs. Chicago Bears (-6)
Week 17: 20-27 @ Los Angeles Rams (No line)
Mike’s next set of graphics features record projections coupled with point differential and strength of schedule. This allows for playoff and draft order projections. He has the 49ers just behind the Seahawks, with Seattle projected to have 8.0 wins and San Francisco projected to have 7.8 wins. Given how close some of the lines and score projections are above, it opens the door for good or bad luck to swing this thing up or down a couple wins.