The one word that comes to mind when describing the 49ers last year is ‘unlucky’.
Jimmy Garoppolo’s innocuous injury, accomplished attempting to rush for an additional yard, ended his season and consequently the 49ers hopes.
Jimmy G’s contract signing was made with the intention to turn the 49ers into contenders, and I am hopeful that the real 49ers will be healthy and capable next season. The week 7 Thursday night battle with the Rams was a superb contest between two rivals which is always fun to watch. The NFC West has had so many interesting battles in the past, and it would be great to see the next chapter.
Reasons to be hopeful
Shanahan is one of the most innovative minds in the game, incorporating offensive game plans to test opponents on a weekly basis. The 49ers HC currently has an abundance of running backs with the impressive Matt Brieda, returning Jerick McKinnon and Shanahan familiar Tevin Coleman expected to share reps.
Shanahan proved in Atlanta his ability to utilise his backs, therefore it is quite exciting to see how the 49ers run the ball next season. Shanahan will hopefully be able to rely on Garoppolo for a full season, who showed bursts of excellence in his reduced game time last year. George Kittle was a standout sensation last season, who immediately joined the upper echelon TE’s in the sport by racking up 1377 yards. If Kittle can repeat his dominance in his third season the 49ers offence can grow into something to be fearful of.
Defensive additions and strengths
The 49ers entered the off season with a clear aim in focus, improve the defensive side of the ball. The trade of a second round pick for the Chiefs DE Dee Ford was a move which demonstrates a ‘win now’ mentality.
They could not believe their luck that they were able to draft Nick Bosa with the number 2 pick. If he can resemble his brother Joey’s rookie year, opposing QB’s should be fearful. K’won Alexander joined from the Bucs, a player who has shown great potential in the past. He had a superb rookie year and has the talent to complete a formidable partnership with Fred Warner.
Richard Sherman showed great leadership and ability last year, and it will take an extremely brave QB to test him.
Reasons to be fearful
There is a lot to be excited about with the 49ers this upcoming season. However, there was a great deal of excitement before last season, before the injury bug caused havoc in their roster.
While Shanahan coached back up QBs Nick Mullens and CJ Beathard to be capable, without Jimmy G they slumped to a lowly record in 2018. In essence, the 49ers must keep their signal caller upright to compete with the Seahawks and Rams.
Keeping up with the Rams
The LA Rams gave a blueprint for success that many are trying to follow. Many franchises have attempted to find their own ‘Sean McVay’ type HC, due to the skills he possesses in offence.
Wade Phillips is a defensive mastermind with immense talent available to him, built around the DPOY Aaron Donald.
The Rams are the clear favourites to repeat as NFC West champs and the 49ers must attempt to keep up with the Rams dominance. Therefore, much must go right for the 49ers to be ‘the best in the west’. They have a relatively favourable start to their schedule, avoiding any 2018 playoff sides until week 6’s visit to the Rams. A quick start is essential for success.
Sean’s way too early prediction which will come back to bite him in 2020
11-5 (NFC WEST champs baby!)