How SF 49ers fight off Super Bowl hangover in 2020

Head coach Kyle Shanahan of the San Francisco 49ers (Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)
Head coach Kyle Shanahan of the San Francisco 49ers (Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images) /
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Ben Garland #63, Laken Tomlinson #75 and Trent Williams #71 of the San Francisco 49ers (Photo by Michael Zagaris/San Francisco 49ers/Getty Images) /

No. 1: SF 49ers Won’t Have Poor Offensive Line Play

The Rams offensive line absolutely fell apart in 2019. In 2018, they were the No. 1 O-line in the NFL, according to Football Outsiders. In 2019, the same unit fell to 19th by the same ranking. According to Brad Gagnon, this was due to multiple veteran offensive linemen leaving the team and aging tackle Andrew Whitworth’s play regressing.

So, will the 49ers have to worry about this?

Well, to some extent, maybe. Niner Noise’s Peter Panacy wrote a piece just this week explaining why the 49ers offensive line could be an issue this season. However, I respectfully disagree.

On the first point of comparison with the Rams, the 49ers have not lost any major offensive line pieces other than longtime, legendary starting left tackle Joe Staley. That would be incredibly concerning if they had not replaced him with Trent Williams, one of the most feared left tackles in the NFL.

There are some injuries on the offensive line that are of course concerning, and these are discussed at length in Panacy’s piece. Starting center Weston Richburg is not expected to be able to start the season, so the Niners will likely have to move pieces around.

But here is the main reason I don’t see O-line issues causing a Super Bowl hangover for the SF 49ers: They had major O-line injuries last season and still made the Super Bowl.

Throughout last season, the Niners struggled with injuries to both starting offensive tackles, as well as many along the interior line as well. And yet San Francisco still dominated. Head coach Kyle Shanahan was able to scheme around the weak spots so well they did not even matter. So even if the 49ers do struggle with injuries here, they have already proven these do not get in the way of their success.