Predicting the second half of the 49ers 2023 regular season

Jul 6, 2023, 1:00 PM | Updated: 2:53 pm

Christian McCaffrey #23 of the San Francisco 49ers celebrates after scoring a 3 yard touchdown agai...

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It’s hard to believe that the 2023 NFL season is about a month away, yet here we are.

While the San Francisco 49ers and the rest of the league don’t begin training camp until the end of July, it’s never too early to look ahead at the regular season slate. The 49ers have a busy season ahead, becoming the second-most traveled team in the NFL for 2023. Starting on the road in Jacksonville after the Week 9 bye, the 49ers will play five of their final nine games away from Levi’s Stadium. San Francisco will also play two of the team’s five primetime games in the second half of the season.

After predicting the team would go 5-3 to start the season, how they finish the year will be even more crucial.

Here’s a glimpse at how the second half of the regular season could go for the Red & Gold.

Week 10 @ Jaguars

Score prediction: 27-17 49ers

Record: 6-3

The 49ers always seem to rally after the Bye Week. Last season they did by dominating the Rams, 31-14, before, and then holding on to beat the Chargers, 22-16, two weeks later. This season, San Francisco loses the first game but responds with a big win on the road.

As great as Jacksonville seems, every emerging team is bound to slip up here & there. Why not against the 49ers?

It’s the offensive line that will be the death of them, with either Cam Robinson or rookie Anton Harrison playing left tackle at that time. That doesn’t bode well against Nick Bosa, who will be attacking the outside all day long.

It’ll be a competitive game for sure, but one that the better team (SF) should win before heading back home.

Week 11 vs Buccaneers

Score prediction: 24-10 49ers

Record: 7-3

Whether it’s Baker Mayfield, Kyle Trask, or the ghost of Tom Brady playing for Tampa Bay at the time, the Buccaneers should get waxed by San Francisco. Plus, who knows who will be on the defense at that time, especially with the Bucs entering a rebuilding phase.

The point is easy W for the Red & Gold.

Week 12 @ Seahawks (Thanksgiving)

Score prediction: 24-21 Seahawks

Record: 7-4

The biggest threat to the 49ers repeating as NFC West champions.

Seattle and San Francisco meet for the first time next season on Thanksgiving. And unlike last season, Seattle snags the first game in the season series.

A Turkey Day clash at Lumen Field promises to be exciting nonetheless, with both team trading blows throughout. But Seattle gets the edge here based on the home crowd. Another year with Pete Carroll should only help Geno Smith and the offense click even more. And if rookie Jaxon Smith-Njigba is the real deal, that will be a problem for the 49ers’ secondary.

It’ll be close, but Thanksgiving sees the Red & Gold drop to 7-4 on the season.

Week 13 @ Eagles

Score prediction: 31-24 Eagles

Record: 7-5

Two straight losses for the 49ers? Afraid so.

As much as we wonder how different the NFC Championship Game would have been if Brock Purdy didn’t get hurt, most still saw Philly winning in the end. That should follow suit this season, especially since the game will be held at Lincoln Financial Field.

Expect a very exciting contest with some good and bad from Brock Purdy (or whoever is starting for the 49ers) but the home side should pull it out in the end.

Week 14 vs Seahawks

Score prediction: 27-17 49ers

Record: 8-5

San Francisco gets back in the win column by taking down their NFC rival at home.

Losing to Seattle two weeks prior should light a fire under Shanahan like no other. And in turn, that should fire the team up even more so. The offense will be clicking from the jump, with Levi’s cheering them on throughout.

Another close contest sees Purdy & Co. take control in the fourth quarter and never look back.

Week 15 @ Cardinals

Score prediction: 28-20 49ers

Record: 9-5

Even if Kyler Murray is back on the field, the 49ers should be able to pull this one out on the road. Arizona hasn’t beaten SF since 2021, and that should continue heading into 2024.

The Cardinals’ defense is a mess, respectively, and will pose no real threat to the 49ers’ humming offense.

Murray & Co. will make it more interesting than the first meeting, but the Red & Gold take this one as well to sweep the season series.

Week 16 vs Ravens (Christmas)

Score prediction: 35-28 49ers

Record: 10-5

San Francisco’s final primetime game sees them host Lamar Jackson and the Ravens on Christmas night.

This could go down as one of the games of the year, with both offenses likely to throw heavy blows all night. Jackson is hungry as ever after getting a new deal, wanting to bring a Super Bowl to Baltimore.

But the 49ers have other ideas.

My money is on SF squeaking it out at the end with a late-game TD.

Week 17 @ Commanders

Score prediction: 24-14 49ers

Record: 11-5

Like Tampa Bay, whichever QB is under center for Washington at the time doesn’t matter.

Washington will likely be in tanking mode at this time, firmly out of the playoff race in the NFC East. That should equal an easy win for the 49ers on the road.

Week 18 vs Rams

Score prediction: 27-20 49ers

Record: 12-5

A game that could decide the division and other playoff implications.

While the Rams will likely be out of the running, that shouldn’t stop them from trying to beat a division foe on the last day of the year. Sean McVay will be up for this one, especially if SF is neck & neck with Seattle for the NFC West. That could spell disaster for the 49ers, who will be trying to just get to the postseason at this point.

Still, I don’t see them losing a must-win game at home. Purdy & Co. will do just enough to win the contest, therefore locking up the division.

Finishing with a record of 12-5, the Red & Gold look forward to a home playoff game on Wild-Card weekend.

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