The 49ers aren’t in line to have a Super Bowl hangover, according to NFL Network’s Good Morning Football.
It’s always difficult for a Super Bowl-losing team, like the San Francisco 49ers in Super Bowl LIV, to bounce back from the toughest of all losses and engineer another promising campaign the following season.
Particularly one which ends up in another trip to the big game.
Out of all the teams who lost the Super Bowl the previous decade, only the 2018 New England Patriots managed to pull off a victory in the Super Bowl the following year. So it’s pretty easy to understand why the Niners aren’t exactly in prime position to return to the league championship and win it this time. History simply isn’t on San Francisco’s side.
But there’s a bigger concern: whether or not the 49ers can avoid the all-too-frequent Super Bowl “hangover,” which certainly plagued the Niners’ NFC West rivals last year, the Los Angeles Rams, after they fell to those Patriots in Super Bowl LIII.
The Rams went 9-7 in 2019 and looked nothing like the powerhouse franchise they were the season before.
So, can San Francisco avoid that kind of pitfall in 2020?
The folks over at NFL Network’s Good Morning Football sure think so, and it was a question asked to the panel of hosts this week.
“There’s no room for complacency,” Peter Schrager commented about the Niners’ prospects for another playoff run. “You saw it with their offseason moves. They had to come at a cross in the roads with either [DeForest] Buckner or [Arik] Armstead, and they said ‘let’s re-sign Armstead and get that deal in order. But then let’s trade Buckner and get something for him instead of letting him walk out the door.'”
San Francisco turned Buckner into the No. 13 overall pick, which was subsequently traded and landed the Niners South Carolina defensive tackle Javon Kinlaw at No. 14 overall in the 2020 NFL Draft.
While Schrager touted Kinlaw as a player to watch, he was more excited about some of the 49ers’ other up-and-coming prospects, including second-year wide receiver Deebo Samuel.
“I think Deebo Samuel might be on the cusp of being one of the best wide receivers in the sport, and we’re just starting to see that at the end of last year.”
Samuel will be a good carryover and looks to assume the role vacated by now-New Orleans Saints wide receiver Emmanuel Sanders when he was the Niners’ No. 1 wide receiver in 2019.
Perhaps that’ll be a big part of San Francisco’s turnaround, too, losing some key pieces like Buckner and Sanders but replacing them with top-quality candidates for the upcoming season. If that helps avoid a Super Bowl hangover, so be it.
Nate Burleson agreed.
“They kept the pieces that made them successful,” Burleson added. “I’m looking at the running backs. The running back group is one of the best in the business. While everybody is trying to figure out whether they’re going to pay one guy a ton of money, they went with a Patriots model where they’re going to have a bunch of guys: a running-back-by-committee.”
Not surprisingly, Burleson added he felt the running backs were what made San Francisco click last season.
And that unit figures to be just as good as it was a year ago.
Whether or not the predictions come to fruition is anyone’s guess, of course. But as far as hangovers go, the thinking is the Niners at least have a cure.