3 strengths 49ers currently have over their 2019 Super Bowl team (and 1 weakness)

The last time the 49ers were the No. 1 seed, they rolled through the NFC in 2019 before falling short in the Super Bowl. Here's how this year's team compares to the 2019 49ers.

San Francisco 49ers v Philadelphia Eagles
San Francisco 49ers v Philadelphia Eagles / Michael Zagaris/GettyImages
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Brock Purdy, Jimmy Garoppolo, 49ers
San Francisco 49ers v Denver Broncos / Michael Zagaris/GettyImages

Strength #3: Quarterback

The 49ers in 2019 had Jimmy Garoppolo rehabbing a torn ACL. The 49ers in 2023 had Brock Purdy rehabbing a torn UCL. That is where the comparisons between the two quarterbacks end.

Common refrains about why Purdy's success is simply a byproduct of scheme and the 49ers offensive talent has been by comparing him to Jimmy Garoppolo. Garoppolo just "won" with the 49ers, and he has greatly struggled in his time away from the Bay. But these descriptions are lazy narratives at best, failing to recognize exactly how different these two QBs are.

Firstly, production. Purdy threw for 300 more yards than Garoppolo, 4 more touchdowns, 2 fewer interceptions, on 1.2 more yards per attempt. That's clear statistical superiority, and it does not even account for Purdy's willingness to throw the ball further down the field, nor Purdy's surprising mobility.

But the bigger, and more important, aspect to this QB comparison is trust - namely Shanahan's trust in his QB. With Jimmy Garoppolo, Kyle Shanahan often tried to shield his QB, constricting his passing attack in an effort to minimize the damage that Garoppolo could do. With Purdy, Shanahan is aggressive, sometimes overly so. One of the NFL's premier play-callers should not be hamstrung by his quarterback - with Purdy, it does not seem like Shanahan is. That, by itself, is perhaps the biggest strength the 2023 49ers have against the 2019 49ers. Now, all that's left is ending the season differently.

Stats courtesy of NFL.com

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