Columnist: Niners Are An 8-8 Team

A healthy Jimmy Garoppolo will certainly help, but the Niners could have a tough time in a tough division

August 09, 2019 - 9:17 am
Jimmy Garoppolo San Francisco 49ers

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Some NFL folks believe that the San Francisco 49ers will win the NFC West this season. Bay Area News Group columnist Dieter Kurtenbach is not one of those people.

After all, the Rams are the Rams, and the Seahawks have Russell Wilson.

“I’ll bet on Russell Wilson above Jimmy Garoppolo because he’s proven it time and time again,” Kurtenbach said on Ferrall on the Bench. “Baker Mayfield has more NFL throws than Jimmy Garoppolo at this point in his career, so we do have to pump the brakes a little bit on the Jimmy G hype.”

Garoppolo, of course, tore his ACL last September, and the Niners finished 4-12. How good can they be with a healthy Garoppolo?

“I’ve viewed the 49ers as a perfect 8-8,” Kurtenbach said. “They’re really good at a lot of little things. I don’t know if they have any standouts across the board. An 8-8 team, you get a couple of good bounces, you’re a 10-6 team and everyone thinks that you’re really good; if you get a couple of bad bounces, you’re 6-10 and everyone thinks you suck. I think they’re going to be at the whim of the bouncing ball – or not. Maybe they’re a 6-10 team now because you don’t have enough dudes on the field.”

The 49ers have suffered a rash of injuries this offseason, as Nick Bosa (ankle), Jason Verrett (ankle), Marquise Goodwin (leg) Arik Armstead (calf), and Jerick McKinnon (knee) are all questionable for Week 1.

“If Garoppolo goes down, this team is in big trouble, just like most teams in the NFL – not all of them – if the starting quarterback goes down,” Kurtenbach said. "The Niners like to think they have a little bit more depth this year. I guess we’re finding out firsthand. I don’t know who the hell they’re going to put on the field for their first preseason game on Saturday. There’s going to be a lot of guys who will not be playing in the NFL in any capacity getting some action against the Cowboys for sure.”

General manager John Lynch called Bosa’s high-ankle sprain “significant,” which is not what you want for any player, especially the No. 2 pick in the draft.

“This guy just hasn’t been on the field,” Kurtenbach said. “I don’t remember the last time he took a snap. It would have been early in the season with Ohio State – a realistic, competitive snap. He missed all of OTAs, he’s going to miss all the preseason. He’s looked good when we’ve seen him, but this was the rap on the kid coming out – that he’s injury prone. It’s problematic. It’s very problematic because this guy needs to be an impact player Week 1.”

Click below to listen to Kurtenbach’s interview in its entirety