Patrick Willis

NFL Preseason Award Predictions

Can Aaron Rodgers add a league MVP trophy to the Super Bowl XLV MVP he won in February?
<p> Aaron Rodgers for MVP, Mark Ingram for Rookie of the Year, Tony Romo for Comeback Player of the Year and much more.</p>

The 2011 NFL season kicks off with a Thursday night showdown between the last two Super Bowl champions, as Super Bowl XLIV MVP quarterback Drew Brees and the Saints march to Lambeau Field to take on Super Bowl XLV MVP quarterback Aaron Rodgers and the Packers — in the first of 256 regular season games that span from Sept. 8 until Jan. 1, 2012.

Before a snap has been taken, Athlon Sports looks into our crystal ball in an attempt to predict who will be award-worthy after the dust settles this season.

San Francisco 49ers 2011 NFL Team Preview

We take a look at the 49ers prospects for the upcoming season.
<p> We take a look at the 49ers prospects for the upcoming season.</p>

The year was 1979 when Eddie DeBartolo Jr., after two disastrous years as owner of the San Francisco 49ers, hired an innovative offensive coach from just down the road at Stanford in hopes of reviving his franchise. Bill Walsh installed what came to be known as the “West Coast Offense,” and in 1981 he led the 49ers to their first Super Bowl victory, a win that marked the start of an NFL dynasty in San Francisco. Fast-forward to 2011, and the 49ers are hoping that history will repeat.