Getting back to the Super Bowl the season after losing The Big Game isn’t an easy feat for any team.
The San Francisco 49ers were the runner up in 2019, but the team has the depth to make another run at the elusive sixth Lombardi Trophy. As Kyle Madson of Niners Wire points out, teams who lose in the Super Bowl have a difficult time getting back the follow year:
“Only eight Super Bowl losers have ever gone back to the NFL’s championship game the year after losing, and only the 1971 Cowboys, 1972 Dolphins and 2018 Patriots won the title a year after losing it.”
Madson wrote about six obstacles the 49ers will have to overcome in order to win a championship in 2020. Here is the six things he listed:
- Bouncing back from a Super Bowl loss.
- Replacing DeForest Buckner.
- Finding a second starting cornerback.
- Establishing the receiving corps
- Avoiding steep defensive regression.
- Staying healthy.
No, 6 on the list is obviously the most important. San Francisco lost key players like George Kittle, Joe Staley, and Dee Ford to injury at different times last season, but the Niners were mostly healthy heading into the playoffs.
I think the 49ers won’t have a Super Bowl hangover at all. Head coach Kyle Shanhan is still growing, but he had the team ready for every game last season, sans the ugly last-minute loss to the Atlanta Falcons.
General manager John Lynch was able to mitigate the loss of Buckner by selecting defensive tackle Javon Kinlaw in the first round. There is no denying that it will be tough for the rookie to replace Buckner’s production immediately, but San Francisco has the depth on the defensive line that should limit the loss of DeFo.
Emmanuel Moseley did a fine job starting opposite of All-Pro Richard Sherman last season. The 49ers are hoping Akhello Witherspoon will take another step in his development, but even if he doesn’t Moseley is a good option as the No. 2 corner.
No. 4 is the biggest obstacle to me. San Francisco traded up to get receiver Brandon Aiyuk, but with a unprecedented offseason due to the pandemic, it will be tough for Aiyuk to come in and immediately have an impact. Deebo Samuel is cemented as the team’s No. 1, but there is a lot of uncertainty after him. While it is great that a pair of injured receivers — Trent Taylor and Jalen Hurd — will be back next season, no one knows what to expect from the duo who missed all of 2019. George Kittle is the team’s best pass catcher, but the 49ers will need one of receivers to step up if the team wants to win a championship in 2020.
What do you think will be the biggest obstacle in the Niners’ quest for six?
On to some more links:
The NFL Network’s Daniel Jeremiah believes Kittle’s extension could be worth $20 million a year. NBC’s Chris Collinsworth added his two cents on the contract matter. (h/t NBC Bay Area’s Jessica Kleinschmidt)
Speaking of Kittle, who would be his ideal WWE tag-team partner? The tight end revealed his answer, and it is a former 49ers teammate. (Alex Didion of NBC Bay Area)
Jimmy Garoppolo will be the starter in 2020, but what happens with the QBs on the roster behind him on the depth chart? Fansided’s Peter Panacy breaks down how he thinks things will play out with the Niners’ QBs next season.
Who are some of the players that are underrated on the 49ers? Madson lists his six under appreciated Niners.
What would a 49ers/Warriors jersey mashup look like? Pick 6 posted a pic on Instragram, and I have to admit that I really like it.
More links from around the NFL:
Some people are saying NFL commissioner Roger Goodell made one mistake when he issued an apology to the players for not supporting protests about racial injustice. ESPN’s Howard Bryant wrote a piece saying Goodell should have mentioned former Niner Colin Kaepernick by name.
Who were the ten best quarterbacks when facing pressure last season? NFL.com’s Nick Shook reveals the list.