The 49ers are 3-0 and have an easy win this Sunday against the Arizona Cardinals. The 49ers are clearly the best team in football, and I don't see much debate about that. So, let's talk about the biggest surprises so far this season.
My god this team sucks. Just absolutely sucks. Justin Fields couldn’t dice up middle schoolers these days, the coaching staff is in way over their head, and the defense has zero difference-makers. On a positive note, if they continue down this path, they should have the top pick in the draft and a second top 5 selection (via Carolina). Hopefully, the owners are wise enough to make significant changes in personnel to set the stage for Caleb Williams (fire coach, GM, Fields, and just about everybody). As challenging as this year has been—and it will get worse—things could turn around very quickly for Chicago.
The Dolphins also had a strong start last year, but there's something about this team that feels and looks different. They exude confidence that they can defeat anyone. Not to mention, their defense has shown significant improvement, and we still haven't seen Jalen Ramsey in action. Offensively, Tua and his teammates appear nearly unstoppable. If they manage to beat the Bills this weekend, they will undoubtedly establish themselves as the second-best team in the NFL. Personally, I'd love to see a Dolphins-49ers Super Bowl, especially considering Shanahan's track record against his former coaches. McVay and LaFleur, I'm looking at you. Is it just me, or does anyone else find it peculiar that all of Shanahan's former assistants have two capital letters in their last names? Like, what's up with that? McVay, LaFleur, McDaniel. Perhaps that's the key to understanding the Shanahan system.
Heading into this season, I had significant concerns that the Cardinals would end up with the top two picks in the 2024 NFL Draft (via HOU), and the 49ers would have to face Caleb Williams and Marvin Harrison Jr. twice a year for the next decade. However, the Houston Texans have actually looked pretty good! I understand they only have one win, and one loss was against the Colts, but it's evident that the team has faith in DeMeco Ryans and CJ Stroud. Stroud has thrown 4 TDs and 0 INTs in 3 games and just mopped the floor with Trevor Lawrence for his first career win. This team is poised for continuous improvement, and I expect Will Anderson to become a top-10 edge rusher by the end of the year under DeMeco's tutelage. There are plenty of reasons for 49er fans to root for this team – go DeMeco, go – and to ensure that the Cardinals don't secure two top-5 picks.
It appears the Texans made the right choices in their coach, quarterback (which is surprising given he went to Ohio St.), and edge rusher. I predict they'll be a 6-to-7-win team this year. Shanahan proving once again that all successful former coaches for the 49ers must have two capital letters in their name! DeMeco is the trendsetter, having it in his first name rather than his last. Regardless, if you aspire to be a successful assistant for the 49ers, having two capital letters somewhere in your name seems to be the secret to success.