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49ers' slow start and strong finish match up with season prediction

SANTA CLARA, Calif. -- The San Francisco 49ers ended their season on Sunday with a win against the Rams. Here’s a look back at how I predicted their season would unfold.

My predicted record: 5-11

49ers' actual record: 6-10

How I fared: When the 49ers were 0-9 at the beginning of the season, nobody could have imagined they'd finish with six victories. In fact, no team had ever won more than three games after such a start. But then quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo happened. In my initial season prediction made after the schedule release, I had the Niners going 6-10 but I dropped that one game to 5-11 because of concerns about cornerback and the offensive line. Of course, I also couldn't have guessed they would trade for Garoppolo and that he'd be the type of franchise-altering revelation that he's been. I'll take a little bit of credit for believing the Niners would start slow and finish with a flourish in the first year under coach Kyle Shanahan, but I certainly didn't expect that second-half turnaround to be as profound as it was. And I definitely never thought the Niners would have generated this much excitement for 2018 along the way.