If I asked you what was the one barometer of success for the San Francisco 49ers this season, what would be your answer? Is it Super Bowl or bust after last year? Or is it as simple as the entire team makes it through the season with a clean bill of health? Everything has been different, leading up to the 2020 regular season compared to last. This offseason was virtual, which was unprecedented. There will be adjustments for everyone, from players to coaches to fans. Everything has been different, leading up to the 2020 regular season compared to last. This offseason was virtual, which was unprecedented. There will be adjustments for everyone, from players to coaches to fans.
For the first time in over a handful of years, the Niners are entering the regular season with expectations. By now, you’ve heard how difficult it is for a team that lost the Super Bowl to return to the big game the following year. San Francisco is in the minority as they brought back the majority of their roster, which NFL executives feel is the best in the league outside of quarterback.
As it stands today, it’s difficult to assess what the barometer for success will be for the 49ers because we don’t know if the team will start training camp on time with the current restrictions in California due to COVID-19. This season will be full of unknown obstacles that teams have never had to face before.
Here are six things I want to see:
- I want to see Kyle Shanahan take the kid gloves off Jimmy Garoppolo
- I want to see Brandon Aiyuk implemented into the offense early in the season
- I want to see Dee Ford and Nick Bosa play at least 10 games together
- I want to see Garoppolo throw the ball down the field multiple times a game
- I want to see Trent Williams stay healthy for an entire season
- I want to see the 49ers consistently play at a championship level this season, no “let down” games
I’m not too worried about the team’s win/loss record in the regular season. I’m more concerned with what direction they’re trending heading into January. The 49ers are built for success in the playoffs, and while the first-round bye is critical, it’s not the end of the world if the Niners have to go on the road. Is going on the road ideal? It isn’t. Defense travels, though.