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All of the “what ifs” from the 2019 calendar year

The 49ers had to overcome a lot in 2019. We look back on a handful of “what ifs.”

Photo by Scott Taetsch/Getty Images

It’s been “What if” week at SB Nation, and Jas covered Super Bowl XLVII. We could play “what if” for the 49ers from the 2019 offseason and on. So, let’s do it.

What if the 49ers never traded for Dee Ford, used that money to extend DeForest Buckner, on a productive pass rusher in the draft like Chase Winovich? Or signed Shaq Barrett instead? What if Ford’s tendonitis in his knees never flared up and stayed healthy for the majority of last season? We could do this for Ford alone.

What if the Cardinals weren’t sold on Kyler Murray and drafted Nick Bosa? Do the Niners trade back and draft Josh Allen? Later on in the round, let’s say the Patriots pass on N’Keal Harry. The 49ers likely draft Harry, as John Lynch said the team was high on Harry last year. San Francisco would have extra picks, but an alternate draft isn’t nearly as appealing as the duo of Bosa/Samuel.

Let’s skip to training camp. What if Dante Pettis comes to camp in shape, and Trent Taylor never has any setbacks? Do the 49ers make the Super Bowl with those two instead of Emmanuel Sanders? I don’t think so, as Sanders taught the young wideouts how to prepare off the field. That’s a fun hypothetical to go down, especially if you throw Jalen Hurd into the conversation. Pettis suffered a few injuries during training camp and never regained his rookie form.

Moving onto the regular season, and yes, there are more injuries. If Joe Staley doesn’t suffer an injury, he comes back for at least another year. Without him or Mike McGlinchey going down, or Ahkello Witherspoon, we don’t find out how good both Daniel Brunskill and Emmanuel Moseley are. What if Weston Richburg or D.J Jones never get hurt? That’s pretty easy; the 49ers win the Super Bowl.

Speaking of, we could spend all day on the Super Bowl. What if Jimmy Garoppolo never throws that first half interception? That throw is conveniently ignored. The Chiefs weren’t going to stop the Niners from scoring on that drive. Instead, the Chiefs get three points. The fourth quarter was the definition of Murphy’s Law. I watched the game a couple of weekends ago, and there were even more mistakes that I remember, specifically, from the receivers. Three times Deebo/KB ran wrong routes that threw the play off. It was the first time all year that the youth at receiver really hurt the team.

You can do “what ifs” the other way, too. What if Dre Greenlaw doesn’t have that game-sealing goal-line tackle Week 17? Having played every week since Week 4, San Francisco has to travel across the country to the Eagles, and then would have to play two more games on the road. Overall, it’s hard to find a team that had a more intriguing year than San Francisco.

This isn’t 2019 related, but how different do the 49ers look if Jim Harbaugh was coaching the past six years and Trent Baalke is gone?