The San Francisco 49ers were an incredible story in 2019. So much so, that the promise quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo had long been predicted to have, finally broke through as he led his Niners to a 13-3 record, 5-2 in the division, and a spot in the Super Bowl.
The bigger question now is whether they can do it again.
In 2018, it was another NFC West team, the Rams, who broke through and made it to Super Sunday against the New England Patriots. Los Angeles would lose that game, and slide a bit in 2019. The point being, that one great season can be akin to capturing lightning in a bottle.
While you can absolutely say that Seattle quarterback Russell Wilson has demonstrated an ability to be consistent year in and year out, Garoppolo has yet to demonstrate the same. In all fairness, he also hasn’t had the opportunity to. In 2020, he’ll get his shot.
Also worth remembering is that the entire league, not just the division, has a lot of tape on the 49ers 13-3 season. Head coach Kyle Shanahan will have to add the requisite wrinkles to keep any kind of edge. That’s easier said than done. All he has to do is ask Rams coach Sean McVay to see how teams began to figure out what did and did not work in LA.
San Francisco takes a step back in 2020, likely makes the playoffs, but is nowhere on par with the success of 2019.