5 nightmare scenarios for 49ers in 2023

The 49ers are projected to be a Super Bowl contender in 2023, but things don't always go according to plan.
San Francisco 49ers wide receiver Deebo Samuel (19)
San Francisco 49ers wide receiver Deebo Samuel (19) / Michael Owens/GettyImages
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49ers nightmare scenario No. 3: Things just don't 'click' for Kyle Shanahan and Co.

In 2021, the Niners started off awfully slow with a 3-5 record and appeared to be heading toward the bottom of the conference. In 2022, Kyle Shanahan's team was 3-4 after seven weeks and was struggling to move the ball, offensively, despite boasting what turned out to be the NFL's best defense.

It's possible we see San Francisco start off slow again this season, particularly with a quarterback (Brock Purdy or even Trey Lance) effectively making his actual real first-year starter's campaign happen.

Instead of a midseason turnaround, not unlike what Shanahan and Co. enjoyed last season, perhaps the 49ers find themselves in something of a yearlong slump.

Revisiting our history, a year after the Niners won their first Super Bowl following the 1981 season, then-head coach Bill Walsh's team went 3-6 in a strike-shortened year.

That's a small stain on what others will still phrase as San Francisco's dynasty years.

And something similar could happen again in 2023.