As NFL betting fans know, the 2015 San Francisco 49ers weren’t a team for the ages. Quite the contrary, they finished last in the NFC West with a 5-11 record. And they don’t have the best of online football betting odds for 2016, either. As a matter of fact, only the Cleveland Browns have less of a chance of winning Super Bowl 51. So what do the 49ers need to do to return to their former glories of the early 80s to mid 90’s? There is no silver bullet that will fix everything, but here are five things that they might be willing to try.
No more Blailin Gabpernick. QB Blaine Gabbert is not recovering from a surgery-requiring, season-ending shoulder injury. Nor has he at any point had a “fatigued” arm. And he started the last eight 49ers regular season games, and has seen preseason action. So why not just give Gabbert some continuity and bring some consistency to the QB position and start him under center for a whole season? Or, by all means, give Colin Kaepernick a fair chance at earning back the spot – and of he does, keep him there.
When you have chosen a QB, give him someone to throw the ball to. San Francisco ranked 29th in receiving in 2015, per Pro Football Focus – and that was with wide receiver Anquan Boldin on the roster, who led the team in receptions (69) and receiving yards (789). As NFL betting fans know, Bolding signed with Detroit Lions last month. Then again, Boldin is no spring chicken either, and San Fran has plenty of young talent waiting for an opportunity, such as Torrey Smith, Quinton Patton, Bruce Ellington and DeAndrew White.
Once you have someone to catch the ball, let them run with it. The 49ers have displayed a strong running during the preseason – and by all means, they should run with it; especially now that running back Carlos Hyde is healthy again. Though he only played seven games in 2015, Hyde led Frisco in rushing yards, with 470 in 115 carries for three TDs.
Protect your chosen QB. Gabbert was sacked 25 times last season, while Kaepernick was sacked on 28 occasions – makes NFL betting fans wonder whether the competition for the QB spot is one in which the loser is really the winner. The league today revolves around passing, and under those conditions a single, solitary sack can make all the difference in the world in a regular season or playoff game.
Turnover a new leaf. The turnover battle may be as important as the second stage at Ozzfest, but winning that battle makes it easier to win the war, and that’s something the Niners failed to do in 2015. San Francisco finished the season with a minus-five turnover differential in spite of throwing only 12 interceptions collectively. Moreover, the defense produced only nine interceptions. New defensive coordinator Jim O’Neil is presumably implementing an aggressive game plan as he is wont to do; still, the 49ers have to do better at protecting the ball and forcing turnovers than O’Neil’s previous team – the Browns – did.