5 dream scenarios for San Francisco 49ers in 2024

Hopefully, everything that can go right for the Niners in 2024 goes right.
San Francisco 49ers quarterback Brock Purdy (13)
San Francisco 49ers quarterback Brock Purdy (13) / Ezra Shaw/GettyImages

The 49ers have lofty goals in 2024, and those expectations can come true if these scenarios turn into dream scenarios.

After falling just short of the ultimate dream scenario in an overtime Super Bowl loss to the Kansas City Chiefs last February, the San Francisco 49ers nevertheless have lofty expectations of getting right back into the big game and finally pulling off the victory, reaching that elusive sixth Lombardi Trophy in franchise history.

It's a difficult proposition. In the modern football era, only two teams -- the 1970 Dallas Cowboys and 2017 New England Patriots -- lost the Super Bowl before turning around and winning it the following season.

Of course, the Niners are in excellent shape to be the third team to accomplish this. Pro Football Focus recently tabbed San Francisco's roster as the absolute best heading into 2024.

Still, a lot of things will have to go right for head coach Kyle Shanahan's squad to not only win the Super Bowl but to even get back there.

That'll involve some dream scenarios for the red and gold in 2024.

Here are five of them.

No. 1: 49ers don't play Chiefs in Super Bowl 59

It'd be easy to say the 49ers' No. 1 dream scenario would be to win the Super Bowl. That's every team's aspiration, although the Niners are a bit further ahead than most other squads.

The more realistic aspiration, though, might be facing off against any AFC squad not from Kansas City.

San Francisco fans need no reminder, but KC has come from behind in both of the 49ers' recent Super Bowl losses, leading to quarterback Patrick Mahomes taking home game MVP honors while breaking hearts of the Faithful everywhere.

It appears as if the Chiefs are the current bane of the Niners' Super Bowl prospects. And while some sweet Super Bowl revenge would be nice, San Francisco might simply prefer to beat someone else.

No. 2: Brock Purdy seizes NFL MVP honors

Mahomes is a case study in why franchise quarterbacks turn teams into perennial Super Bowl contenders almost regardless of the supporting cast.

The 49ers hope to have found their own franchise-elite signal-caller, Brock Purdy, who was in the final running for league MVP honors last season but ultimately came up short despite setting numerous records and leading the NFL in a number of significant categories, including passer rating (113.0), touchdown percentage (7.0) and yards per attempt (9.6) during his first full year as a starter.

There are those who feel Purdy will regress in 2024 despite being in an arguably better context this season than he was a year ago following offseason elbow surgery.

Perhaps. But the best possible outcome would be not only the quarterback backing up his 2023 efforts with an even better 2024, but also securing that NFL MVP accolade, too.

No. 3: Brandon Aiyuk finally comes to terms on an agreeable extension

A primary reason why Purdy excelled so much last season was because of his No. 1 wide receiver, Brandon Aiyuk, who has now emerged as the Niners' best pass-catcher over the last two seasons.

Aiyuk has also been the primary talking point for San Francisco during the offseason, stemming from the standoff he's currently having with the 49ers over contract extension talks that have seemingly broken down.

The Niners have an expensive roster, yes. And they can't simply write a blank check to Aiyuk to meet his contractual demands.

However, to avoid what could be a notable locker room distraction if no deal is reached, the best-case scenario would be one where both parties' needs are met: Aiyuk gets paid, while San Francisco isn't seriously hindered by the new contract.

Everybody wins, right?

No. 4: 49ers stay (mostly) healthy in 2024

Remember back in 2020 when the 49ers were coming off that first Super Bowl loss to the Chiefs? Remember the whole "revenge tour" that was supposed to lead the Niners right back into the final game of the season?

Well, that didn't happen.

San Francisco suffered a historically atrocious amount of injuries in 2020 that ultimately collapsed the team to a 6-10 record and last-place finish within the NFC West.

A year ago, the 49ers were mostly injury-free and suffered nowhere near the kind of injury attrition that plagued them in 2020.

While injuries are an unavoidable part of the game, the dream scenario here would be a relatively clean slate of injury-related setbacks, especially to star players.

No. 5: 49ers claim top seed in NFC... again

One of the best ways to get to the Super Bowl is by securing that No. 1 seed in the conference and getting an automatic trip to the divisional round, bypassing Wild Card weekend with a first-round bye.

To do this, the Niners will have to win the division, which hasn't been much of a problem the last two years, but they'll also have to stave off other top contenders within the NFC, specifically the Detroit Lions, Dallas Cowboys and Green Bay Packers, all of whom they'll play during the regular season.

It's possible 11 wins gets the job done, especially if no other NFC contender winds up running away with the conference.

But, in all reality, 12 or 13 wins on the season would make this possibility much more achievable.

If dream-scenario Nos. 2 through 4 all come to fruition, then scenario No. 5 probably does, too, leading to the strong case of the No. 1 scenario also happening.

Read more from Niner Noise