Donte Whitner used to be the king of the big hit. Now, he’s the king of the hot take.
Whitner gave a particularly wild one on Sunday after San Francisco’s 27-7 blowout of Seattle. He believes with Jimmy Garoppolo at the helm, the 49ers could put together the first undefeated regular season since the Patriots went undefeated in 2007.
“I’m going to go out on a limb and say something very bold,” Whitner said after Sunday’s win on NBC Sports Bay Area. “And that bold thing is with Jimmy Garoppolo back at quarterback, I think the 49ers have the chance to run the table.
“Yeah, that’s right: I think they have a chance to go 16-0.”
As crazy as that sounds, the 49ers went 13-3 with Garoppolo at the helm in 2019. Those three losses were by a combined 13 points and two of them were by a field goal. This year their roster is arguably as good, if not better, than that year’s squad.
“The offensive line is playing better. The running game is starting to pick up,” Whitner explained. “You have weapons on the outside like Deebo Samuel, Brandon Aiyuk, the return of George Kittle.
“And Jimmy Garoppolo, who was motivated, accurate, efficient, and ready to lead this 49ers team back to the promised land.”
Health is obviously a huge factor, as it always is. So far, George Kittle hasn’t played in a game, and his presence will be crucial for this team to stay on the winning track. The 49ers also can’t afford to lose the injury-prone Garoppolo, with the completely unproven Brock Purdy behind him.
If they can stay healthy, however, the 49ers have a chance to be very successful. Undefeated? Probably not, but if they do, Whitner will have this receipt.