Cary Edmondson-USA TODAY Sports

Cary Edmondson-USA TODAY Sports


If Not Now, When? Why the 49ers Must Go All Out to Win the Super Bowl This Year

Nick Newman
Jun 3, 2020 at 12:23 PM


Last summer the 49ers were considered an ascending team by many, but very few expected their development to amount to a Super Bowl berth.

Fast forward a year, and the expectations for the 49ers should be nothing less than the team winning its 6th Vince Lombardi Trophy in franchise history.

The 49ers must go all out to win the Super Bowl this year, and here is why:

Entering the 2020 season, the team is loaded with a complete roster. On both sides of the ball, there are high-quality NFL players at the vast majority of starting spots. Most importantly, there is above-average talent at the most important positions.

The NFL is a passing league, making the following positions vital to a team's success: quarterback, offensive tackle, edge rusher, and cornerback. The 49ers have their bases covered here with Jimmy Garoppolo, Trent Williams, Mike McGlinchey, Nick Bosa, Dee Ford, and Richard Sherman.

Despite the NFL being a passing league, the 49ers are an outlier where they run the ball more than they pass. However, quarterback is still the most important position, even for a run-first offense. Jimmy Garoppolo is more than capable of playing at a level high enough for the 49ers to win the Super Bowl.

Looking at the offensive line, Trent Williams and Mike McGlinchey have the tackle spots anchored down. The interior of the offensive line looks to be improved, with Weston Richburg healthy and Daniel Brunskill, the team's highest-graded pass-blocker (PFF), looking like the starting right guard.

Last season, Garoppolo had the seventh least amount of time to throw on his drop backs. With the addition of Williams, an improved interior offensive line, and the expected development from McGlinchey, Garoppolo should have more time to throw this year.

The 49ers embarrassed opponents with their ground game last year, and my belief is the team's 2020 opponents will be zeroing in on shutting down the ground game. This opens the door for Garoppolo to have a major statistical season.

Looking at the 49ers receiving group, Jalen Hurd and Trent Taylor both seem healthy and ready to compete for roles in 2020. Both were recently seen working out at San Jose State University, hinting that they're ready for action once the time comes.

Then there is the addition of Brandon Aiyuk. Aiyuk is a versatile threat for both Garoppolo and Kyle Shanahan, and his homerun-threat ability is a major addition to the offense.

The 49ers run game will continue to be one of the best in football, making the offense extremely balanced.

Looking at the 49ers' projected starting offense and considering Shanahan is the play-caller, there is no doubt this is one of the most talented offenses in the NFC.

  • QB: Jimmy Garoppolo
  • RBs: Tevin Coleman and Raheem Mostert
  • FB: Kyle Juszczyk
  • WRs: Deebo Samuel, Kendrick Bourne, and Brandon Aiyuk
  • TE: George Kittle
  • LT: Trent Williams
  • LG: Laken Tomlinson
  • C: Weston Richburg
  • RG: Daniel Brunskill
  • RT: Mike McGlinchey

Defensively, the 49ers are again in a position to be able to shut down opponents' passing games. Last season, the 49ers' pass defense was the best in football. This was a direct result of an improved pass rush.

While holding opponents to under 170 passing yards per game like they did last year may be a lofty goal, the 49ers could still easily finish with one of the top passing defenses in football as long as the pass rush stays healthy.

The 49ers lost a key interior pass rusher in DeForest Buckner but added Javon Kinlaw to be his immediate replacement. As long as Kinlaw can hold his own as a pass rusher and flush the pocket consistently, the 49ers pass rush should not miss a beat.

The front seven, which was also one of, if not the best in football last year, has six returning starters. The development of the 49ers young linebacking corps will be intriguing to watch, as Dre Greenlaw and Fred Warner are two of the more promising young linebackers in the game.

Looking at the secondary, Richard Sherman, K'Waun Williams, Jimmie Ward, and Jaquaski Tartt all will resume their starting duties. Emmanuel Moseley and Ahkello Witherspoon will battle for the starting outside corner spot opposite of Sherman.

Moseley figures to have the upper-hand, as he played much better than Witherspoon during the team's Super Bowl run. The development of Moseley will have a huge impact on the 49ers season.

Looking at the 49ers' projected defense, it appears it will be one of the best defensive units in the game again this year.

  • DE: Nick Bosa
  • DT: Javon Kinlaw
  • DT: Arik Armstead
  • DE: Dee Ford
  • MLB: Fred Warner
  • WILL: Dre Greenlaw / Kwon Alexander
  • Slot CB: K'Waun Williams
  • CB: Richard Sherman
  • CB: Emmanuel Moseley
  • FS: Jimmie Ward
  • SS: Jaquaski Tartt

In addition to the offense and defense being in tremendous shape, the 49ers' special teams unit is also in great hands with Robbie Gould and Mitch Wishnowsky.

What is known is the 49ers have one the most complete rosters in the NFL going into the 2020 season. What is unknown is what the 49ers' roster will look like in 2021.

The inevitable nature of the game is that injuries occur, and on any given play a player can suffer a long-term or career-ending injury. Aside from that inevitable possibility, the 49ers may lose players to free agency.

The 49ers are scheduled to have a plethora of free agents hit the market come the new league year in 2021, many of whom are at those important positions that I talked about earlier. The 49ers will do their best to retain guys like George Kittle, but the bottom line is that it is simply not known who will and who will not be back in 2021.

Here is a list of players with big roles, who are scheduled to hit the market in 2021:

  • George Kittle - Starting Tight End
  • Trent Williams - Starting Left Tackle
  • Richard Sherman - Starting Corner
  • Jaquaski Tartt - Starting Strong Safety
  • K'Waun Williams - Starting Slot Corner
  • Kyle Juszczyk - Starting Fullback
  • Tevin Coleman - Featured Running Back
  • Kendrick Bourne - Featured Wide Receiver
  • Robbie Gould - Kicker

Emmanuel Sanders and DeForest Buckner are the only significant starters who are not returning this season. The 49ers are extremely fortunate to have almost all of their starters come back for another Super Bowl run.

Looking ahead to 2021 and considering the question marks surrounding what the cap will be set at, it seems extremely likely the 49ers will lose a handful of starters from the 2020 season.

John Lynch, Kyle Shanahan, and Paraag Marathe did a tremendous job building and structuring this roster, and the confidence is there that they will try to keep it intact to the best of their abilities. Moves like trading Buckner go to show that they're prepared to make drastic moves to keep players who they feel are most valuable.

The bottom line is that there is no telling the future, but looking ahead to the short-term the 49ers have a great chance at winning their first Super Bowl in 25 years. They need to ensure that happens by going all out.

The team has roughly $10 million remaining in cap space. Some of that money should go towards a Kittle extension, but the 49ers would be wise to spend the rest of it on rounding out and adding depth to the roster.

A move such as adding an additional pass rusher makes a lot of sense. The 49ers defense fired on all cylinders when Dee Ford's speed was on the field. Unfortunately, there is not a lot of depth behind Ford, when it comes to pass rush speed. Signing a pass rusher like Markus Golden or Clay Matthews would be an all-in move to make sure the pass rush and defense as a whole do not take a step back.

This needs to be the year the 49ers win the Super Bowl. If it's not, then when will it be? There are simply too many unknowns for anybody to answer that question comfortably. The time is now for the red and gold.

Follow me on Twitter: @NinerNick_22
The opinions within this article are those of the writer and, while just as important, are not necessarily those of the site as a whole.


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