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2008 San Francisco 49ers Season Preview

2008 San Francisco 49ers preview from MadduxSports.com. The NFC West could be one of the best divisions or one of the very worst's. There are a lot of unanswered questions for all 4 teams so having an expert like Maddux that can forecast winners with their NFL spread picks can mean a very profitable football season for the client. So what are you waiting for?

2008 San Francisco 49ers Predictions
By Adam Barone

Rundown
The story in San Francisco is offense, or lack of it. In 16 games in 2007 the 49ers scored a league low 219 points. It’s not surprising that they finished 3-13.

New offensive coordinator Mike Martz will have plenty of pressure on him. Starting quarterback Alex Smith had a 57.2 rating in seven games and threw for just two touchdowns in 2007. Backup Shaun Hill had a 101.3 rating in three games with five touchdowns. Expect Hill to be the guy for most of the season and have a break-out campaign. Write it down.

Running back Frank Gore is one of the best in the league, but had a sub par 2007. Without much help from the fat guys, Gore also had an ankle injury and a broken hand. He barely topped 1100 yards following his NFC best 1600 in 2006.

Former Carolina Panthers running back DeShaun Foster was added in the off season to back up Gore. He never really lived up to his potential in Carolina, but should prove to be a serviceable backup.

There’s a lot of work to do on the line, as it allowed 55 sacks a season ago. Some of that was likely Smith’s inability to make a decision. He’s bad.

Isaac Bruce will add depth to an average receiving corps, but tight end Vernon Davis could be the key to the 49ers’ success. He should make a huge improvement on last season’s 52 receptions and 509 receiving yards.

Rookie linebacker Patrick Willis led the entire NFL last season with 174 tackles. That beat out second place tackler D.J. Williams of Denver by 33 tackles. Mike Nolan will have to find a way to get Willis some help. San Fran ranked 22nd in the league last season with 118.5 rushing yards per game allowed. They were also 22nd against aerial attacks, allowing 227.7 yards per contest. If outside linebacker Manny Lawson can stay healthy the 49ers could have an extremely dangerous duo on defense.

Free agent signing defensive end Justin Smith has only missed one game in his entire seven year career, and it was during his rookie season. Smith is capable of rushing the passer and stopping the run at a pro-bowl level.

Draft Analysis
Arnaz Battle and Isaac Bruce simply won’t be enough on the outside, and Ashley Lelie won’t be much help. Receivers to run Martz’s system should have been a top priority in the draft, but the 49ers took only one—sixth round pick Josh Morgan out of Virginia Tech. He might not even make the team. This will probably come back to haunt Nolan if he ends up getting fired after the season.

Outside linebacker and defensive line needed addressing as well. First round pick Kentwan Balmer out of North Carolina, 29th overall, played both end and tackle in college, and is said to have all-pro ability when motivated.

The 49ers also used their second and fourth round picks to add depth to their offensive line.

Now that you know about the 2008 San Francisco 49ers football team see how they stack up against the rest of the NFC West division rivals Seahawks, Rams, and Cardinals.

Related Pages:
49ers Official Site
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2008 NFL Team Previews

The 2008 season is here, once again Maddux Sports will break down all 8 divisions and all 32 football teams. This year we also added a draft report to the preview so you can be aware of which college players each club picked up via the draft. Click here to return to the main NFL season preview page at anytime. To get started just click on any of the divisions on the right hand side of the page.

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