Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports


Jerry Rice explains why he was an early believer that last season’s 49ers were Super Bowl-bound

May 18, 2020 at 6:27 PM--


Hall of Fame wide receiver Jerry Rice predicted in early November during a conversation with ESPN's Stephen A. Smith that the 2019 San Francisco 49ers were Super Bowl-bound. He actually predicted that his former team of 16 years was going to win the big game. The Kyle Shanahan-led squad came minutes short of accomplishing that.

At the time, Smith accused Rice of overthinking with his emotions, indicating that the ESPN personality did not think the 49ers were capable of fulfilling Rice's prediction.

Rice on Monday joined team reporter Keiana Martin on the 49ers' official Instagram account for a Q&A session. Before getting to fan questions, Martin asked Rice what he saw from the squad back in early November that made him so confident that San Francisco would end up in Miami in February.

"I think it starts with [Jimmy Garoppolo]," Rice explained. "Then, I was looking at the receiving [corps] with Deebo Samuel and (tight end) George Kittle, Emmanuel Sanders. And then the running game. And then, on defense, with all those guys, (DeForest) Buckner and all those guys, Richard Sherman.

"I just felt like they had all the pieces in place. Now, it was up to those players to go out and compete every ball game, and to build confidence, to build momentum, and you could see that momentum towards the end in what they were able to accomplish."

"We came up a little short in the Super Bowl, but we had a great season last year, and I feel like they still have all those pieces in place right now. The time is now for the San Francisco 49ers. It's right now. You can't be looking down the road. You've got everybody in place right now, so you need to get it done."






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