Aldon Smith

49ers “bracing” for Aldon Smith suspension of 6 to 8 games, which would make season’s first half even tougher

Roger Goodell Levi's Stadium ribbon cutting 49ers

Aldon Smith met with Roger Goodell today. No word on how long Smith’s suspension will last, but a 49ers source told Matt Maiocco the team is “bracing for a possible six to eight games.”

If that ends up being the case, my initial prediction of two weeks, four at the most, will look pretty foolish. I believed that the lack of a felony conviction and Smith’s five-game absence last year might lessen things a bit, but Goodell might be leaning toward a longer suspension BECAUSE of the reaction to the two weeks Ray Rice received.

Goodell might want to show a lack of tolerance for poor behavior after being surprisingly lenient with Rice, who may have gotten off relatively easy because his wife didn’t press charges.

San Francisco 49ers NaVorro BowmanThe 49ers may be in trouble

They might be without Aldon Smith and NaVorro Bowman for the first half of the season, which could it difficult to keep pace with the rest of the NFC West. (2013 records in parentheses.)

  1. Sept. 7: @ Dallas (8-8)
  2. Sept. 14: vs. Chicago (8-8)
  3. Sept. 21: @ Arizona (10-6)
  4. Sept. 28: vs. Philadelphia (10-6)
  5. Oct. 5: vs. Kansas City (11-5)
  6. Oct. 13: @ St. Louis (7-9)
  7. Oct. 19: @ Denver (13-3)
  8. Bye
  9. Nov. 2: vs. St. Louis (7-9)

Week 1 shouldn’t be too difficult, unless the 49ers come out flat and turn it over four times. Same with the home opener against the Bears. Then it gets dicey. The Cardinals and the Rams aren’t Super Bowl favorites by any means, but they live to beat the 49ers (or injure them, at the very least). The other three games are against teams that made the playoffs last year.

It gets easier … sort of

After games in New Orleans and New York (Giants) in Weeks 10 and 11, the 49ers get a travel break. Four of their last six games are at home, and they don’t leave the Pacific Time Zone after they get back from New York. Granted, two of those six games are against the Seahawks. But Bowman should be back for the second half of the season, and if the 49ers can tread water through those first eight games, they could go into the playoffs hot … like last year, when they won their last six games of the regular season.

DVR fail

I wanted to make dinner (enchiladas!), so I set up tonight’s preseason opener between the 49ers and Ravens to record. But I chose the NFL Network broadcast, which showed a replay of Giants-Bills instead. I forgot that the local CBS affiliate broadcasts 49ers exhibition games, and apparently NFL Network isn’t allowed to show a competing broadcast of the same game in this market.

So I caught the last five minutes of the game, which included Chuck Jacobs getting injured, McLeod Bethel-Thompson throwing an interception and a couple passes to Bruce Ellington. I saw a couple Carlos Hyde highlights, read all the tweets about the game that I could find (Tank Carradine and Quinton Dial both fared well, Blaine Gabbert not so much).

It’s tough to know how upset to get over a failed preseason recording. On one hand, I’ve been watching as many practices as possible, so I would’ve liked to see how all the younger players looked in a real tackle-football setting. On the other, the 49ers lost a game that didn’t count by a score of 23-3. I think I’ll survive.

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