Last season, the San Francisco 49ers came within five yards of winning their sixth Super Bowl in team history. This season looks to be much of the same, as the Niners seem poised to make another serious challenge for the Lombardi Trophy.
They are not without some question marks, as they prepare for training camps to open. The major question heading into the season is how does the team overcome the loss of Michael Crabtree? Crabtree tore his Achilles tendon during the team’s spring mini-camps and he could be out for almost the entire year. Anquan Boldin looks to be the Niners’ only veteran receiver early on, as they will rely on several young guys to step up in Crabtree’s absence. They will also need to see what type of progress Colin Kaepernick makes, as he prepares for his first full season as the starting quarterback.
Frank Gore has been the driving force of the Niners’ offense for the majority of his career, but he now heads into the “no man’s land” of NFL running backs, as celebrated his 30th birthday earlier this year. Gore will be looking to do what few running backs have failed to do following their 30th birthdays.
There are questions marks surrounding the defense, as well. What does Aldon Smith do for an encore to his near-record breaking season? The other question that remains is the secondary, which got torched over the final third of the season.
The last question plaguing the Niners is how do they avoid the so-called “Super Bowl Loser’s Curse.” The curse revolves around the notion that the losers of the previous year’s Super Bowl will struggle in following few seasons.
Here are the five bold predictions for the Niners’ 2013 season.