Some teams went 4-0 in the preseason and looked especially hot. Just ask the Baltimore Ravens, Cleveland Browns, Denver Broncos and Seattle Seahawks.
A couple others went 0-4, like the Atlanta Falcons and Oakland Raiders. Both of which, ironically, are coming off a really good season.
Although it makes your team standout prior to the start of the season when you finish with a good record, once kickoff happens at the start of the season, fans and analysts quickly forget preseason numbers.
**cough** 2008 Detroit Lions **cough**
It’s fun to speculate where each team will size up and predict who will win the almighty Lombardi Trophy in February. Practically every analyst writes an article about it, ranking each franchise on both offense and defense.
Prior the start of the regular season, Bleacher Report posts an annual “Preseason winners and losers” list. Despite their finishes, neither Atlanta or Oakland made the list.
However, the 2-2 San Francisco 49ers landed on their. Which side, you ask?
On the winners.
Columnist writer Doug Farrer put the San Francisco offense on his winners list. Despite a rocky game against the Denver Broncos in week 2, the 49ers have exploded since for a combined for 55 points in the final two games.
Farrer notes how new head coach Kyle Shanahan brought an impressive offensive game plan to Santa Clara, a much needed breath of fresh air for a team that finished last in passing yards, 31st in total yards and 27th in points per game:
Against the Vikings in Week 3 of the preseason, Shanahan had his offense humming with the starters in the first half, as Brian Hoyer threw touchdown passes on his first two drives, and the normally stingy Minnesota defense seemed to be opening holes exactly where Shanahan wanted them to, providing easy slants and downfield routes for Hoyer’s targets.
It will take Shanahan and new general manager John Lynch a few years to build the roster back up to its recent heyday in the Jim Harbaugh era, but even without a great deal of top-level talent, Shanahan’s offense is going to be a blast to watch.
Here’s the complete list of winners/losers.