San Francisco 49ers: 5 storylines you did not expect in 2019

Running back Raheem Mostert #31 of the San Francisco 49ers (Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images)
Running back Raheem Mostert #31 of the San Francisco 49ers (Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images) /
1 of 6
Azeez Al-Shaair, D.J. Reed, 49ers
Linebacker Azeez Al-Shaair #51 and free safety D.J. Reed #32 of the San Francisco 49ers (Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images) /

The San Francisco 49ers have surely exceeded expectations in 2019, and a lot of that is due to some storylines and developments you certainly didn’t see coming this season.

There’s plenty to like about the San Francisco 49ers in 2019.

Head coach Kyle Shanahan’s squad is 12-3 and one win away from clinching the NFC West for the first time since 2012, which would also put the team into the No. 1 seed in the NFC playoff picture. The team boasts top-10 offenses and defenses, has beaten up on some top-level competition and has a scoring differential of plus-10.9, which is third best in the league.

One might guess you probably didn’t predict any one of those three scenarios being the case when you looked at the Niners’ landscape heading into training camp many months ago.

San Francisco’s turnaround from a league laughingstock only a few short years ago has been outstanding; a credit to Shanahan and general manager John Lynch. The players, too, as many of them have risen to levels of play not quite predicted or foreseen.

With the year drawing to a close and the playoffs just around the corner, it’s fun to go back and see what many were likely thinking about the 49ers heading into 2019, contrasting those early predictions and forecasts against what the reality has become.

Needless to say, there are quite a lot of surprises.

The best part is most of them are pleasant ones, too. So, with the regular season coming to an end, Niner Noise goes back and lists the five biggest storylines you didn’t see coming.