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Thursday, September 9, 2010
Projecting the 49ers' 2010 record

By Mike Sando
ESPN.com

The first month of the 2010 regular season appears tough for the San Francisco 49ers.

Even their Week 5 game at home against Philadelphia could be problematic.

But in taking a game-by-game look at their schedule, I found 10 victories, even with a split against Arizona. The 49ers would have a 5-1 NFC West record for the second season in a row under these projections, and they would take a 9-6 record into a Week 17 home game against the Cardinals.

Lots can change, of course. The 49ers' road defeat at Seattle last season reminds us that the Week 1 visit to Qwest Field could go against the Seahawks. The 49ers could still lose road games against average teams.

A game-by-game look at how the 49ers' season might -- but will not -- play out this season (projected victories in bold):
Week 1: win at Seahawks

Week 2: lose vs. Saints

Week 3: win at Chiefs

Week 4: lose at Falcons

Week 5: win vs. Eagles

Week 6: win vs. Raiders

Week 7: lose at Panthers

Week 8: win vs. Broncos

Week 9: no game

Week 10: win vs. Rams

Week 11: win vs. Bucs

Week 12: lose at Cardinals

Week 13: lose at Packers

Week 14: win vs. Seahawks

Week 15: lose at Chargers

Week 16: win at Rams

Week 17: win vs. Cardinals

I haven't done the Arizona projections yet, but it's looking like my projections will put the NFC West title in play heading into Week 17. Claiming a couple early road victories -- at Seattle, at Kansas City -- would really help the 49ers take a step forward this season.

Thanks in advance for embracing every aspect of this projection without complaint. Or, more likely, see you in the comments section.