The San Francisco 49ers might be coming off a 4-12 season but are closer to contention than you think. Here are 10 things they’ll need to if they hope to reach Super Bowl LIV in 2020.
Parity in the NFL is very real, and there’s a definite possibility the San Francisco 49ers go from a 4-12 record in 2018 all the way to representing the NFC in Super Bowl LIV a little less than a year from now.
Sound far fetched? Well, the Super Bowl LIII-losing Los Angeles Rams went 4-12 back in 2016, fired head coach Jeff Fisher and then went on to boast two 10-win seasons in back-to-back years en route to the latest NFL championship contest.
Granted, the Rams had a lot more talent than the Niners when head coach Kyle Shanahan and general manager John Lynch took over.
But that brings up two notable points. Turnarounds do happen. They work both ways, too. Just look at the 5-11 Jacksonville Jaguars, for example, who were a few plays away from winning the AFC Championship game the season before.
The other point is both Shanahan and Lynch will have to make some serious efforts getting San Francisco on track to contend for both a playoff berth and a Super Bowl.
A full two years into the rebuild, the 49ers were dealt some bad luck in 2018, namely with serious injuries to quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo and running back Jerick McKinnon. Both essentially ruined the team’s chances to contend last year. Their healthy returns should help push the Niners into the playoff picture, but this isn’t necessarily the end-all to getting into Super Bowl LIV.
Instead, San Francisco will need the following 10 things to happen.