We will find out a lot about the San Francisco 49ers in 2020. Look at the past couple of NFC teams that made the Super Bowl. In 2018 the Los Angeles Rams looked like they’d be the next dynasty. Then their offense flopped during the Super Bowl, and that carried over into 2019 as the Rams missed the playoffs. The 2017 Philadelphia Eagles scored 41 points in the Super Bowl to become champions. The Eagles made the playoffs the next season as the sixth seed because they play in the NFC East. They advanced in the first round because of something called Mitch Trubisky. Go back the season before, and the 2016 Carolina Panthers made Super Bowl 50 and won six games the next season. Each of those teams had promising quarterbacks that were supposed to lead them to the promised land the next season. The “Super Bowl” hangover is real.
Nobody expects the 49ers to win six games next season. Vegas predicts San Francisco will make the playoffs. There was an “unfinished business” mindset during the exit interviews. Defensive coordinator Robert Saleh said that’s why he turned down an offer from Michigan State. Kyle Juszczyk was on Good Morning Football Friday to discuss the possibility of a Super Bowl hangover. Here’s what he said:
“We just feel like we’re a different group. We have this different chemistry in our locker room that its really hard to explain unless you’re in there, and you can experience it. But we feel like we’ve already defied some of the odds. Two years ago, we started off 0-9. The best a team had ever done after that point is won three games. We won six. We went 4-12 last season, made it to the Super Bowl (this past season). I think only one other team had done better. Bengals had won three games and made it to the Super Bowl (the next season).”
There’s no question the chemistry is different on this team. There are a confidence and sense of belief that even an Ivy league graduate can’t explain. It’s just...there. The team expects to win. They know they’re good, and there’s nothing wrong with that. They always find ways to motivate themselves, even after blowout victories. Here’s more of Juice:
“We feel like we’ve already defied those odds, and we can look back on that, and just draw on that experience, and know this team is something special. It doesn’t matter what the odds say or the numbers. We think we can get back there, and we’re confident in whatever we’ve got going.”
Juszczyk stood up for his quarterback as well:
“That’s been one of the more frustrating parts of the loss. Seeing the criticism of Kyle and Jimmy...For whatever reason, Jimmy just seems to get this extra criticism. You just change one or two plays, and the whole narrative/dialogue changes. At one point, Jimmy was 19/22 for 180 yards and 1 TD. If he hits the throw to Sanders, we’re the Super Bowl Champs, Jimmy’s the MVP, and we’re talking about him like the next Tom Brady.”
Big if, but he’s not wrong.