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. 5: Niners don't win NFC West

Even if the 49ers schedule for 2023 has its challenges, at least the NFC West is projected to be bad this year, right?


Well, probably. Maybe.

The Arizona Cardinals have, perhaps, the worst roster in the NFL right now and are competing for the No. 1 overall NFL Draft pick in 2024. The Los Angeles Rams aren't quite in total rebuild mode, but they're not seriously contending for another year or two.

The Seahawks, who surprised with a 9-8 record last season and a Wild Card berth, are the only legitimate threats to the Niners, right?


Well, yes. Absolutely.

Some rankings, including the one from ESPN's Mike Clay, actually have the Hawks above San Francisco entering 2023:

If the 49ers end up struggling over the course of 2023 but still find themselves within a weak NFC West, it wouldn't be too big a deal.

Save it for the playoffs, right?

However, if the Niners struggle this season while Seattle doesn't, and the division ends up going to the Seahawks, it'd be nothing short of disastrous for Kyle Shanahan and Co.

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