The San Francisco 49ers are being crowned Super Bowl Champs in almost every preseason projection, simulations and everything you could possibly think of that has to do with predicting results. In fact the simulators say that the Niners are favored in every single game they play this season. The Niners are being talked about during the offseason like they won the Super Bowl last year. This hype certainly is justified. The Niners have arguably the most balanced and stacked team in the NFL, rivaled only by their division rival Seattle Seahawks and possibly the New England Patriots.
Here are a few reasons why the Niners are being considered Super Bowl favorites and being pinned by some experts as possibly being the next dynasty. First off, the offensive line is the best in football in both run blocking and pass blocking. If there’s a better offensive line out there I want to find out who it is. It took the offensive line awhile to gel, at former quarterback Alex Smith’s expense in some cases, but ever since Jim Harbaugh came in the offensive line began to gel and now there’s no o-line that’s more athletic and physical than the Niners. There’s been several instances where Colin Kaepernick has 5 or 6 seconds to move around in the pocket and find the open man, which is dangerous for any team when the quarterback has that much time to find the receivers. This is reason number 1 why on paper the Niners would be considered Super Bowl favorites.
Second, staying on the lineman theme, the Niners defensive line is a top three defensive line if not the best in the NFL. A big reason would be Justin Smith, who’s the second best d-lineman in the NFL behind JJ Watt. In addition, Aldon Smith who’s already one of the most feared pass rushers in the NFL and he’s only getting better considering he doesn’t turn 24 until September. The Smith brothers wreck havoc on every quarterback they play as well as smother every running back that comes to challenge them which is a great formula for success.
Other key components that make the Niners so good are their linebacking core consisting of two All-Pros, Patrick Willis and Navarro Bowman as well as Ahmad Brooks and Smith. The Niners have several young dynamic receivers that have really emerged throughout the preseason like Quinton Patton and Marlon Moore who will pair nicely with Anquan Boldin, Mario Manningham, Kyle Williams and Michael Crabtree once he returns. The Niners also have several young running backs waiting to take over from Frank Gore like Kendall Hunter, Lamichael James, Jewell Hampton and Marcus Lattimore who might easily be the Niners back of the future once he returns next season from a torn ACL.
Finally, the most important would be Colin Kaepernick. He showed last year that even though he was inexperienced and showed some of his inexperience he has some rare skills that the NFL hasn’t seen before like the ability to run like a running back as well as have a cannon arm and have the ability to make big plays. There are not too many quarterbacks that have more upside than Kaepernick and not too many can rival his athleticism, only Robert Griffin III, Michael Vick (when he’s healthy), Russell Wilson and Cam Newton. Out of those quarterbacks Kapepernick might have the most upside based upon his size, speed, strength, and work ethic to be a great player.
However, even though the Niners on paper look like the best team in the NFL there are still some concerns that the Niners have that need to be looked at. The Niners don’t have a backup quarterback who is trustworthy. The Niners thought Seneca Wallace would be the backup when they signed him, but he didn’t report to the San Diego Chargers game last night and there are reports that he’s no longer with the team. With Colt McCoy being named the backup quarterback the Niners have to hope that Kaepernick will be able to remain healthy. If not it could be a disappointing season for the Niners as McCoy isn’t nearly on Kaepernick’s level and is an average quarterback at best. Also the secondary still has some questions especially if the Niners can’t get a pass rush. The Niners secondary has athletes that are physical and hit hard, but Donte Whitner isn’t great in coverage and rookie Eric Reid who will be the starting Free Safety was inconsistent at best in college as far as man coverage. Nnamdi Asomugha has shown a little resurgence with the Niners and was named their third corner, but he’s past his prime and won’t be as effective as he has been in the past.
To conclude, the Niners are the best team in the NFL on paper, but it’s way too early to crown them champions, they have to go out there and earn it and show that they are truly the best team in the NFL. The Niners play some very good teams this season who will have a pact to knock them off like Green Bay, Atlanta, and of course the Seattle Seahawks. The Niners need to keep their head on their shoulders and not get caught up in the hype surrounding them because if that happens disappointing results will follow. If the Niners play up to standard they could very well be Super Bowl Champions.