When you make a list of some of the greatest NFL teams, the list never turns out featuring teams that only made it to the Super Bowl. The All-Decade team dating back to 2010 is no different. Tom Blair of NFL.com ranked the ten best teams of the decade, but the order may surprise you. The 2013 Seattle Seahawks were the number one team on the list. Knowing how the NFC Championship game turned out, I know that will make a lot of San Francisco 49ers fans cringe reading that.
The list also features teams like the ‘11 Green Bay Packers, who lost in the Divisional Playoffs by three possessions. There’s a good mix on the list. Coming in at number seven on the list is your 2012 Niners team that had three of the more exciting playoff games in recent memory. Here’s what Blair said about them:
7) 2012 San Francisco 49ers
-- 11th in overall offense (361.8 ypg)
-- 11th in scoring (24.8 ppg)
-- 3rd in overall defense (294.4 ppg)
-- 2nd in points allowed (17.1 ppg)
-- 4th in point differential (124)
Though this team did not finish with the best record of the Jim Harbaugh era, it did produce the most postseason success, barely losing out to the hot-streak-riding Ravens in Super Bowl XLVII. The defense was characteristically tough, producing four of the team’s six first-team All-Pros (NaVorro Bowman, Aldon Smith, Patrick Willis and Dashon Goldson). On offense, this was the high point of Harbaugh’s four-year tenure, marked by one of the deftest quarterbacking transitions of the decade. After Alex Smith’s career renaissance was interrupted by injury in Week 10, coordinator Greg Roman adjusted his offense to take advantage of backup Colin Kaepernick’s considerable mobility. How often does the No. 2 quarterback turn out to be a bona fide star capable of carrying his team to the Super Bowl? The transformation was highlighted by Kaepernick’s jaw-dropping performance against the Packers in the Divisional Round (263 passing yards, two touchdown passes, 181 rushing yards and 2 rushing touchdowns.
How stacked does your roster have to be when you can not only make it to the Super Bowl but be in a position to win it—after your quarterbacks throw 23 touchdown passes all season? The answer is yes.
An offensive line that will give you 4.5 yards before you have to do anything as a running back is a luxury only a handful of players get. Oh, and if there are issues up front, Frank freaking Gore is carrying the ball. One of the most efficient offenses in the NFL paired with arguably the most talented group of linebackers to step on the field together. The 2012 49ers were exceptional, as evidenced by the teams six All-Pro selections.
According to Pro Football Reference, only one fourth-quarter comeback was necessary for the 49ers during the regular season. The question becomes, should this team be higher on the list?