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4 bold 49ers predictions for preseason opener vs. Packers

NFL, 2022 NFL preseason, San Francisco 49ers, Green Bay Packers, Trey Lance, George Kittle, Nick Bosa, Deebo Samuel

This weekend sees the official start of the NFL preseason, which includes a Friday night clash between two NFC contenders in the San Francisco 49ers and Green Bay Packers.

This is a rematch of last year’s divisional playoff clash. Recall that the 49ers rallied for a 13-10 victory over the Packers in the dying seconds of that game. For Green Bay, Aaron Rodgers will sit this one out and may decide to forego the entire preseason, as he has in previous years. The two-time defending MVP actually won’t don the pads until at least Week 3 of the preseason. Anyone eager to see him play here will be let down. This means that the Packers will primarily rely on their backups. Expect Jordan Love to start.

On the other end of the field, the Trey Lance era officially begins. He is anticipated to start as quarterback for the 49ers, along with the rest of their starting offense. Since the Packers defeated the visiting 49ers 21-10 in the previous preseason encounter in 2016, this will be the first time the clubs will square off again in this context.

Click here for our bold Packers predictions for their preseason opener against the 49ers

With Rodgers out, are the 49ers the easy favorites in this preseason match?

49ers Preseason Week 1 Predictions

4. Gould will be gold

The 49ers have one lone kicker on their current roster — seasoned veteran Robbie Gould. Why else would he not be? For more than 20 years, Gould has been among the NFL’s most dependable kickers. He is especially adept at dealing with Levi’s Stadium’s windy conditions, which may be blowing at 13 to 15 miles per hour toward the southeast area of the arena.

He will surely see action here, and there is very little doubt he’ll be effective as always. In other words, Gould should be gold again in San Francisco.

3. Deebo Samuel and Brandon Aiyuk get 1 TD each

Experts do not expect both Deebo Samuel and Brandon Aiyuk to get a ton of targets in this preseason game. Having said that, the 49ers do want to see exactly what they have with Lance throwing from the pocket. This means that Samuel and Aiyuk will get their chances, and with the Packers probably playing some backup defensive backs, expect Samuel and Aiyuk to get scores this week.

Remember that the 49ers have a pretty deep WR corps. Of course, they are led by Deebo Samuel and Brandon Aiyuk, but they also have Willie Snead IV in addition to Ray-Ray McCloud III. It’ll be a tough outing for the Packers’ backline D featuring Preston Smith, Eric Stokes, and Adrian Amos among others.

2. Lance goes off for 2 TDs

Trey Lance participated in six regular-season games in 2021, but he will be this team’s leader in 2022. With just two interceptions and a completion percentage of 41 of 71 passes (57.7%), Lance threw for 603 yards and five touchdowns. Additionally, he ran for 168 yards on 38 occasions (4.4 average) and one touchdown. Last year, Lance participated in all three preseason games, passing for 276 yards and three touchdowns.

In this game, Lance won’t play too long, but he should still get good opportunities to score. Lance wants to prove himself. Don’t be shocked if he goes off for two TDs against Green Bay. Eventually, though, Lance will split time under center with veteran quarterbacks Nate Sudfield and Brock Purdy

Until then, however, Lance should try to connect with his strong wideouts and see if his backs can give him some running game support as well.

1. 49ers win

San Francisco will see their starting lineup, at least for a few series, unlike the Packers. This gives the 49ers a bit more depth throughout this game. They will also play at home, and that means the 49ers are raring to go out and make a statement.

This is especially true for Trey Lance and an offense that is expected to really hum in 2022. The Packers should be on the back foot in this game, which should see the 49ers notch their first preseason W in the Trey Lance era.