The San Francisco 49ers are postseason bound for the first time since 2014, yet these five factors are reasons enough for the Niners to be concerned these NFL playoffs.
A little less than a year ago, few would have complained about the San Francisco 49ers having problems ahead of them in the postseason.
After all, few would have predicted the Niners would be in the NFL playoffs, and forget about the team securing both the NFC West crown and No. 1 overall seed in the conference. Those were pipe dreams mere months ago.
But it’s a reality now.
The 13-3 49ers are granted the Round 1 playoff bye week, poised to face off against one of at least three teams in the divisional round, depending on the winners from Wild Card weekend: the Seattle Seahawks, Philadelphia Eagles or Minnesota Vikings.
For the most part, the Niners are bearers of nearly completely good news heading into the postseason. On the injury front, linebacker Kwon Alexander seems poised for an early return from what was thought to be a season-ending pectoral injury. Safety Jaquiski Tartt, who has been absent since Week 13 with a ribs injury, looks to be coming back soon, too.
Perhaps most importantly, the rest of the squad gets an added week to heal up and prepare. It’s been since Week 4 when San Francisco last had a bye week of any kind.
All that said, there are still more than a handful of concerns, worries and X-factors the Niners will face this postseason. Head coach Kyle Shanahan and Co. can look at these as challenges needing to be overcome, of course.
But let’s break down what they are before the Niners embark on their NFL playoffs quest.