The 49ers won't come close to matching last season's 13-3 run and will win only seven games, according to statistical analysis by Football Outsiders.

In a video (above) explaining this projection of the 49ers' crash back to Earth, Aaron Schatz of Football Outsiders raises valid points about why last season's success will be so hard to duplicate. Chief among them: a lack of injuries, especially on defense.

Allow me to expand on the injury note: The 49ers had a league-low two players go on injured reserve once the regular season started, those being wide receiver Joshua Morgan (leg) and defensive tackle Will Tukuafu (wrist). That is a stark contrast to others such as the Jaguars (28 on IR last year; 20 once the season began), the Bills (21, 15), the Rams (20, 15), the Seahawks (16, 13) and the Panthers (19, 11).

Football Outsiders also relied on historical perspectives in terms of the 49ers' statistics and those of other clubs who've made similar leaps. Watch the video to hear some of their data analysis.

On the flip side, MGM's sportsbooks in Las Vegas have installed the 49ers as 4-to-1 favorites to win Super Bowl XLVII in New Orleans.

Even Football Outsiders acknowledged that the 49ers have a lot working in their favor: a still sub-par NFC West, coach Jim Harbaugh's track record of improving each season as a collegiate coach, and a roster that returns almost all key players from last season plus a few potentially helpful additions.


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"There are a lot of reasons to like the 49ers," Football Outsiders' Aaron Schatz says in his video. "But it's very difficult to fight against the power of regression towards the mean. Fans of advance stats and other sports know that. It's just as true in football, and it is a reason the 49ers are not a leading Super Bowl contender going into 2012."

Schatz offered up best- and worst-case scenarios for the 49ers in relation to NFL history.

Best-case: The 49ers will follow the path of the Philadelphia Eagles, who went from 5-11 in 1999 to 11-5 in 2000, then repeated at 11-5 in 2001 to start a streak of four consecutive trips to the NFC Championship game.

Worst-case: The 49ers mimic the 2002 Chicago Bears, who were ravaged by injuries and went 4-12 after going 13-3 in 2001 (and 5-11 in 2000).

Football Outsiders gave the 49ers a 39.5-percent chance of returning to the playoffs. And once you're in the Lombardi Trophy Dash, we all know that everyone is a contender.