Credit: Ed Szczepanski-USA TODAY Sports

Are These 49ers Better Than Last Year's?

The San Francisco 49ers have a chance this week to do what they were not able to accomplish last season: win 3 regular season games in a row. Yes, that’s right, The team that played in the Super Bowl last season NEVER won 3 weeks in a row. This 3-2 team, reeling from injury after injury and lawsuit after DUI, all of the sudden looks stronger, at least on one front, than last year’s squad. This team has the ability to go on a run. If they can get hot, watch out!

As the 49ers struggle without Michael Crabtree, Mario Manningham, Ian Williams, Aldon Smith, Nnamdi Asomugha, and recently Patrick Willis and Ray McDonald, they have all of the sudden found renewed strength: depth. Vic Fangio rarely played more than 12 or 13 players in the first couple of weeks. He did not rotate players much last season either. Now, however, he has been forced to go to second and third string options. Though pundits and casual observers alike expected the worst, somehow, this team has once again found its heart. Hard work wins games. This team had gotten away from that blue-collar work ethic displayed by Jim Harbaugh’s gift of mechanic shirts in his first season. Now that determination and mindset is, hopefully, back.

This is further exemplified by Greg Roman’s return to basics on offense. Why pass the ball to a double covered Anquan Boldin or a hobbling Vernon Davis when you can hand the ball to Frank Gore, Kendall Hunter, Anthony Dixon, and LaMichael James? The offensive line loves to block for this embarrassment of riches in the backfield—and they are better at that than pass-blocking, if the first 5 weeks and previous seasons have been any indication.

Colin Kaepernick has a lot of upside. Everyone remembers his ridiculous game against the Green Bay Packers in Week 1. Yet, with few receiving weapons and instincts that are still adjusting to the pace of NFL defenses, why not give him some time to adjust while you can? Let him pass 15 times a game if you can win by 31. When some wide-outs return to the gridiron, these 49ers could turn their chance at a streak this week to one that goes much further—perhaps to Disney World.

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Tags: 49ers 49ers 2013 San Francisco 49ers

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