As is quite well known by now, the San Francisco 49ers have now been eliminated from Super Bowl contention. As unlikely as a fourth-straight NFC Championship Game or Super Bowl appearance next year would be, the 49ers do have a decent shot at it. This would be quite a coincidence if it would occur, with it being the 49th iteration of the NFL’s biggest game. It would also mark twenty years since the franchise last won a Super Bowl, with the talented Hall-of-Famers Steve Young and Jerry Rice.
Of course, wins and losses are not determined by cool numerical coincidences, so while this may be nice to have happen, it by no means can be stated it will. If the 49ers must wait another year, the championship game would be held at Levi’s Stadium. That would be an exciting place for the 49ers to host another Lombardi Trophy as well.
There is the danger of the 49ers copying the Jets–they crashed after reaching the AFC Championship Game in Rex Ryan‘s first two seasons. They had a quarterback whom they overpaid–the 49ers will likely pay Colin Kaepernick comparably this offseason, though conventional wisdom is he will pan out much better. They also had many personnel issues. Though the 49ers face a tough task with free agents this offseason, I believe the Trent Baalke is a proven GM who will manage these issues wisely–as was the case with Dashon Goldson and now Pro Bowler Eric Reid.
Despite the pain felt the last three seasons, the 49ers have come a long way under Jim Harbaugh. I am excited to see where it goes next.