2010 NFL Schedule Released: San Francisco 49ers' Season Outlook

Jonathan SchechterContributor IApril 21, 2010

GREEN BAY, WI - NOVEMBER 22: Head coach Mike Singletary of the San Francisco 49ers watches the action on the field from the sidelines against the Green Bay Packers at Lambeau Field on November 22, 2009 in Green Bay, Wisconsin. (Photo by Scott Boehm/Getty Images)
Scott Boehm/Getty Images

The NFL has finally released its 2010 schedule, and that means it’s time to speculate on how teams will do before ever playing a down.

The San Francisco 49ers" target="_blank">San Francisco 49ers finished last year with an 8-8 record and a second-place finish in the NFC West Division. This year, I predict they will improve on that record and win the division handily.

Of course, I assume that Alex Smith builds on the success he had late last season and that the team drafts some help at cornerback, safety, and the offensive line.

Other reasons I think this will happen are that last year San Francisco swept the Cardinals and had a 5-1 division record. They also play the AFC West this season, and—outside of the San Diego Chargers—no team in that division is a playoff or Super Bowl contender.

Furthermore, the NFC West is an even weaker division than last year. The Cardinals have lost key players: Kurt Warner, Anquan Boldin, Karlos Dansby, Antrel Rolle, and Bernard Berry this offseason.

Seattle is either too old or too young in key positions and will be breaking in several new rookie starters, while St. Louis with a rookie quarterback at the helm will just be hoping to avoid being the league’s worst team again.

Now, let’s take a look at how I believe the San Francisco 49ers’ schedule will play out.

Right from the start, the team faces a huge test having to play three of their first four games on the road. Neither Seattle nor Kansas City should scare the 49ers, but on the road anything can happen. Just ask Pittsburgh how rude a host an inferior Kansas City team can be.

For the rest of this NFL Mock draft article, head over to NFLsoup.com .