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Golden Nuggets: Patriots dumping of 49ers' division rival officially ends season

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Monday, February 2, 2015 edition of the Golden Nuggets, a daily compilation of 49ers links from around the web.

Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

The last game of the 2014-15 NFL season has been played and the off-season is now officially in full swing. Like many 49ers fans, the Patriots win over the Seahawks was one of the most satisfying NON-49er wins I've seen. It was quite the change from last year's boring blowout, and to see New England pull it out in dramatic fashion was a definite WIN for NFL fans everywhere.

But the biggest team news of note here is that the 49ers Levi's Stadium is now also officially on the clock as the next host of Super Bowl 50. Levi's opened to somewhat lukewarm reviews this season, and so the 49ers have a lot to work to do to make the next Super Bowl truly "golden". Jim Tomsula also has a huge amount of homework, with a new system to put in place, especially since he will be facing an uphill battle to overcome what Seattle and Arizona have built.

I have conveniently lowered my expectations for next season, so that if Tomsula manages to improve upon an 8-8 record, I will be relatively but pleasantly surprised. This roster really is a lot more talented than a .500 record, and given better health, better morale, and better offensive production, they could very easily be back in the playoffs. In spite all of the pessimism around the 49ers this past month, they are not that far away from contending again.

Super Notes

Tom Brady rallies Patriots past Seahawks in Super Bowl (NFL)

Coping with the Brady-Montana narrative (BASG)

Super Bowl XLIX observations, with 49ers thoughts (Gin)

Super Bowl XVI between the Bengals and 49ers remains highest-rated (Cincy Jungle)

49ers given 30-to-1 odds of winning Super Bowl 50 on home field (Inman)

It's never too early to call the winning shot, is it Coach Arians? | Arians expects to call Levi's Stadium home next February (Maiocco)

Haley of Fame

Charles Haley finally gets into Pro Football Hall of Fame (BASG)

49ers regret sending Hall of Famer Haley to Dallas (Maiocco)

Team Notes

Yes, the 49ers still have a very talented roster. | Team Needs and Roster Rankings (Yahoo)

And you know the NFL is truly in off-season mode when we have news about Colin Kaepernick's social life. | Colin Kaepernick Crushing On Rihanna And Nicki Minaj, Talks Winning With SF 49ers (Inquisitr)