10 Bold Predictions For San Francisco 49ers In 2014 Season

San Francisco 49ers: 10 Bold Predictions For 2014 Season

49ers Celebration
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Expectations are high once again in San Francisco, as the 49ers open a new stadium and hope to win their sixth Super Bowl. Many of their players will enjoy breakout seasons in 2014, while others will fail to live up to expectations. Here are 10 bold predictions for the 49ers this season.

10. Josh Johnson Will Become the Backup QB

Josh Johnson
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10. Josh Johnson Will Become the Backup QB

Josh Johnson
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Blaine Gabbert was acquired from Jacksonville in the offseason. His salary alone guaranteed him a roster spot, but Johnson was clearly more effective in the preseason. If Colin Kaepernick goes down for any extended period of time this season, Johnson will give the team the best chance to win.

9. Special Teams Will Be Among League's Worst

Lee Dawson
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9. Special Teams Will Be Among League's Worst

Lee Dawson
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The 49ers' special teams have been among the league’s best in recent years, but roster cuts gutted the core of this unit. Standouts like CJ Spillman, Kassim Osgood and Bubba Ventrone are now gone, and kicker Phil Dawson, 39, appeared shaky at times in the preseason. The combination of an aging kicker and inexperienced players on coverage teams could be a recipe for disaster.

8. Bruce Ellington Will Make a Significant Impact

Bruce Ellington
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8. Bruce Ellington Will Make a Significant Impact

Bruce Ellington
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The rookie receiver was one of the most impressive players throughout training camp and the preseason, both as a pass catcher and a returner. Although the fourth-round pick has a number of veterans ahead of him on the depth chart, Ellington will continue to make splash plays in any capacity in which San Francisco uses him.

7. Carlos Hyde Will Start Multiple Games

Carlos Hyde
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7. Carlos Hyde Will Start Multiple Games

Carlos Hyde
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When Hyde was drafted by the 49ers, it appeared as though he would be buried on the running back depth chart. Kendall Hunter sustained a season-ending injury in training camp, though, and Marcus Lattimore has yet to fully recover from his horrific college injury in 2012. If Gore suffers an injury or his age finally begins to catch up to him, Hyde will be ready to step in and run hard, as he showed in the preseason.

6. Brandon Lloyd Will Be Cut

Brandon Lloyd
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6. Brandon Lloyd Will Be Cut

Brandon Lloyd
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When Lloyd signed with the 49ers this offseason, it appeared that he had a legitimate chance to become the No. 3 receiver. That changed when the 49ers traded for Stevie Johnson, though, and rookie Bruce Ellington also has been impressive. If Lloyd doesn’t prove his value in the first few weeks of the season, he may not be worth keeping on the roster.

5. Colin Kaepernick Will Make the Pro Bowl

Colin Kaepernick
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5. Colin Kaepernick Will Make the Pro Bowl

Colin Kaepernick
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Kaepernick got paid like a Pro Bowl caliber quarterback in the offseason, and he will prove to be worth the money in 2014. Despite a strong quarterback class in the NFC that includes Aaron Rodgers, Drew Brees, Matt Ryan and Cam Newton among others, Kaepernick will be an elite signal-caller and earn a trip to the Pro Bowl as a result.

4. Eric Reid Will Regress

Eric Reid
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4. Eric Reid Will Regress

Eric Reid
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As a rookie last year, Reid surpassed all expectations in replacing Dashon Goldson at safety. Reid’s cover skills were questioned coming out of college, but he proved solid in that aspect. This year, however, he will have a new partner in Antoine Bethea, who replaces Donte Whitner. If teams try to exploit Reid again this year, will he again prove to be up to the task?

3. Michael Crabtree, Anquan Boldin Will Both Surpass 1,000 Yards Receiving

Anquan Boldin
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3. Michael Crabtree, Anquan Boldin Will Both Surpass 1,000 Yards Receiving

Anquan Boldin
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Boldin was spectacular in his first year with the 49ers, with 85 catches and more than 1,100 yards. Two years ago, Crabtree caught 85 balls for more than 1,100 yards. The receivers have different attributes, but both should be equally prolific in 2014.

2. Mike Iupati Will Be Replaced In the Staring Lineup

Mike Iupati
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2. Mike Iupati Will Be Replaced In the Staring Lineup

Mike Iupati
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Iupati was one of the best guards in the NFL a few seasons ago, but he wasn’t quite as dominant last season and suffered a fractured ankle in the NFC Championship game. If the preseason was any indication, he is not up to full speed yet and could struggle in the early portion of the season. Joe Looney impressed in his extended audition as guard, and he or Jonathan Martin could be poised to step in if Iupati isn’t in top form.

1. Tank Carradine Will Lead the Team In Sacks

Tank Carradine
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1. Tank Carradine Will Lead the Team In Sacks

Tank Carradine
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Carradine missed his entire rookie season recovering from a torn ACL, but he looked explosive as a pass rusher in the 49ers’ exhibition games. With Aldon Smith suspended for nine games and Ray McDonald awaiting his fate after allegations of domestic violence, San Francisco will need someone to step up as an edge rusher. Carradine will get an opportunity, and he has the talent to make the most of it.


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