49ers confirm Solomon Thomas suffered a torn ACL, ending his season →
Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports

Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports

ESPN lists 49ers among potential first-to-worst teams in 2020

Aug 11, 2020 at 8:17 AM--

The San Francisco 49ers had a remarkable turnaround from 2018 to 2019. General manager John Lynch and head coach Kyle Shanahan hope they have built something sustainable — a team that can compete for championships every year.

But what if it's not sustainable? What if 2019's success was a fluke?

The thought of the 49ers' impressive Super Bowl run being an abnormality is enough to kick off a heated debate among the Niner Faithful. Aaron Schatz of Football Outsiders, in a feature for ESPN, listed San Francisco as a top candidate to go from first to worst. That means going from a division winner in 2019 to potentially fall to the last place in that division during the upcoming season.

Football Outsiders' metrics give the 49ers a 25.7 percent chance of finishing last in the NFC West. Only the Houston Texans have a higher first-to-worst chance within their division at 28.2 percent.

Schatz bases his reasoning on two factors. The first is the "Plexiglass Principle," the idea that teams that make a significant improvement from one year to the next tend to fall back a bit in the third.

"The 49ers are in line to hit the Plexiglass Principle hard," wrote Schatz. "They are the first team in the history of our DVOA stats (back to 1985) that improved by 20% on both sides of the ball in the same year. Veteran losses such as DeForest Buckner and Emmanuel Sanders won't help the 49ers fight that strong probability of a reversion."

Then you have the strength of the NFC West as a contributing factor. Schatz mentions the Seattle Seahawks having Russell Wilson, the fact that under the new playoff scenario, the Los Angeles Rams would have enjoyed postseason play last season, and the potential emergence of a young and talented Arizona Cardinals team.

"The entire division finishes with an average winning record in our simulations," wrote Schatz. "It's not a ridiculous notion that the 49ers could decline a little bit and combine that with a bit of bad luck and go 8-8 -- and finish last in the NFC West despite being an above-average team overall."

Add to that Schatz listing the Cardinals as a likely worst-to-first team, and you can see how, in the analyst's opinion, things could get more challenging for the 49ers in 2020. Arizona, by the way, was listed as having a 20.8 percent chance of winning the NFC West during the upcoming season.

More San Francisco 49ers News

ESPN ranks three 49ers among the most impactful injuries from Week 2, with Nick Bosa at No. 1

By David Bonilla
9 hrs ago

Bill Barnwell of ESPN ranked the most impactful injuries that emerged from Week 2's slate of NFL games. At the top of the list was second-year defensive end Nick Bosa, who is believed to have suffered a torn ACL. That would mean an end to his season. "Bosa, the No. 2 overall pick in the 2019 draft, was one of the biggest additions to the 49ers' defense when coordinator Robert Saleh's unit took a step forward last season," wrote Barnwell. "He played a full season, racking up nine sacks and 25 hits before adding four more sacks in the postseason. Bosa would have been a viable Super Bowl MVP selection if the

Read the Full Article

ESPN ranks Levi's Stadium No. 20 among NFL venues

By David Bonilla
Sep 19, 2020

Levi's Stadium is often criticized for its lack of personality. It's a nice big sports venue in Santa Clara, California, but not much else is typically said. Candlestick Park tends to bring back fonder memories for San Francisco 49ers fans. Yes, it was old. Yes, it was, at times, cold and windy. Levi's Stadium, by the way, is the opposite. It may have taken you a couple of hours to get out of Candlestick Park. With all of its faults, there was so much history there. That's why it will always hold a special place in the hearts of The Faithful. That lack of personality and history hurt Levi's Stadium in ESPN's recent ranking of NFL venues.

Read the Full Article

Simms picks 49ers pass rusher Nick Bosa as potential NFL Defensive Player of the Year

By David Bonilla
Sep 9, 2020

Mike Florio, Peter King, and Chris Simms each made their predictions for the NFL Defensive Player of the Year for the 2020 season. The selection process was a little different, though. In a draft-style process, the trio each selected three players who could earn the award, creating a list of nine total candidates. King's first choice was Los Angeles Rams defensive tackle and two-time winner of the award Aaron Donald. With Donald off the board, Simms went with the San Francisco 49ers' young second-year pass rusher, Nick Bosa, as his first selection. "I'm going to go with Nick Bosa, 49ers, off the edge," Simms told Florio and King after stating that Donald may be too obvious a choice. "We know that defense is good. I expect them to be good. I'll go with Nick

Read the Full Article


More Featured Stories

Trending News

More News
Share 49erswebzone