The preseason wasn’t particularly kind to the 49ers. They went 1-2 and did not play particularly well against either the Raiders in Week 1 or the Chargers in Week 3. Their lone victory came against the Broncos in Week 2 on a walk-off field goal by kicker Jake Moody.
However, their starting units looked good in their brief appearances, and USA TODAY’s Nate Davis saw enough to give the 49ers a bump up in his 2023 record projections.
San Francisco was originally projected to win the NFC West at 11-6 during Davis’ first run at predicting every team’s record. They jumped up to 12-5 after the preseason with their NFC West rival Rams taking a dip to 6-11 overall.
By jumping to 12 wins, the 49ers would tie the Eagles atop the NFC in Davis’ projections. That would make their head-to-head matchup in Week 13 the deciding factor in which club gets the No. 1 seed and a Round 1 bye. As if that game needed any more hype.
A 12-win year would mean a lot of things went right for San Francisco, and if they roll into the playoffs with 12 wins as a No. 1 seed they might be really tough to beat in the postseason.