In 2021 the San Francisco 49ers came oh so close to making it to the Super Bowl. Vegas NFL odds makers were about to collectively lose their minds at the thought of the Niners once again making it to the Super Bowl after barely being able to make it into the postseason with the 2nd wildcard seed in last season’s playoffs. Of course, it all came crashing down after a Garoppolo intercepted a pass at the end of the game against the LA Rams that ended up sealing their fate.
Now in 2022, with Jimmy G out as a starter and the Trey Lance era at QB about to begin in ‘Frisco, NFL lines experts are not shying away from giving the Niners all the love they deserve, having them as one of the favorite teams in the NFC, alongside teams like the Rams, Buccaneers, and Packers.
With one of the best young coaches leading the charge in Kyle Shanahan, an offense that is all sorts of good, and above all, a defense that looks as championship-ready as ever, here we bring you a few tidbits of information as to why taking the San Francisco 49ers as one of your new favorite NFL odds darlings for the 2022 season is a way to go.
San Francisco 49ers Last Season Performance
The 2021 season for the San Francisco 49ers was definitely a rags-to-riches story, with the team starting out with a 3-5 record before stepping on the gas and being able to finally secure the 2nd wild card spot in the NFC’s playoff scene. The story didn’t stop there for the team though, with the Niners making it all the way to the NFC Championship game where they would end up losing to the Los Angeles Rams, the team who would go on to win SB LVI against the Bengals.
Both on offense and defense the team put on some very respectable numbers, with the offense, led by Jimmy Garoppolo, Elijah Mitchell, George Kittle, and Deebo Samuel finishing the season as the 7th best offense in the league and the defense finishing as the 3rd best defensive line in the league, with Nick Bosa having 15.5 sacks amongst other accolades.
San Francisco 49ers Off-Season Changes
During this offseason, the San Francisco 49ers have gone through some important changes, most importantly seeing some very important players from their starting core leave during the offseason. Players like Laken Tomlinson, Raheem Mostert, DJ Jones, Tom Compton, and K’Waun Williams all hit the free-agency market and found new teams more than ready to welcome them with open arms and big, juicy contracts to go along with it all.
Most importantly, two moves that were made by the team have shown that the direction the Niners are intended to go in for the 2022 season is a very positive one. On the one hand, the team managed to keep WR Deebo Samuel even after seeing a fair share of suitors lining up to offer the star receiver the world, moon, and stars for him to leave the bay for next season.
The other important move saw coach Kyle Shanahan finally deciding to pull the plug on the whole Jimmy Garoppolo as starting QB era in San Francisco. From the looks of it and unless something unreal happens, 2nd year QB Trey Lance will now be the starting passer for the team, a move that will surely end up paying off greatly in the long run.
San Francisco 49ers Key Additions
For the 49ers, one of their main purposes this offseason has been to keep the roster as complete as possible to continue their pursuit of making it back to the Super Bowl once again. One clear example has been that after losing DJ Jones to the Broncos the Niners went ahead and brought in DL Hassan Ridgeway to fill in for Jones in the defense as well as bringing back DE Kerry Hyder, who is coming back to the team after spending a year away playing for the Seahawks.
Cornerback Charvarius Ward was brought in from Kansas City, who will be looking to get the ball rolling from the get-go as a starter in San Francisco’s secondary. Safety George Odum and LB Oren Burks round out the most important additions for the team this off-season on the defensive side of the ball.
On offense, the addition of WR and kick-return specialist Ray-Ray McCloud from Pittsburgh stands out as the only main move made by the team, asides of course from re-signing WR star and one of the most sought-after receivers in the league Deebo Samuel.
San Francisco 49ers Key Subtractions
The 49ers took some serious hits this offseason after seeing some important core players from their roster leave during the free agency market. On offense, the most significant departures are the ones by LG Laken Tomlinson who after making the pro-bowl last year decided to take his talents to New York to suit up with the Jets who just happen to have former Niners passing game coordinator Mike LaFleur as their OC.
RB Raheem Mostert also left for the AFC East after deciding to join the Miami Dolphins. OL Tom Compton, who left to join the Denver Broncos is the other important subtraction from San Francisco’s roster on offense for this upcoming season.
On the defensive side of the game, DL DJ Jones, who left for the Broncos, and CB K’Waun Williams who also left to join the Broncos stand out as the two biggest hits to San Francisco’s defense, especially with both players being important pieces in the Niners’ defensive schemes throughout last season.
San Francisco 49ers Head Coach Analysis
Everybody around the league usually sings the highest of praises for the Rams’ Sean McVay as one of the best young, offense-driven coaches in the league, but can we please take a moment to give a ton of love to Kyle Shanahan? This man took on one of the hardest jobs in the league, being the coach for the San Francisco 49ers, and has managed to make them a contender once again, even in a conference as tough as the NFC.
Thanks to his refreshing views on football, Shanahan has managed to turn his team into one of the most solid squads around, even if that means having to make some really tough decisions such as finally sending Jimmy Garoppolo to the bench to start Trey Lance, a move that will surely benefit him and the team in the long run. Aside from that, the man is a player-friendly coach whose influence on the team continues to grow more and more as time passes. It’s only right that Shanahan and the Niners catch a break at one point, making it to the Super Bowl once again and winning it.
Will this be the season for that? While the odds might be somewhat stacked against them, but not because of Shanahan or the Niners, instead because of how fierce the competition in the NFC is, there is no doubting that coach Shanahan can make this team a Super Bowl-ridden squad once again sooner rather than later.
San Francisco 49ers Injured Players at The Beginning of the Season
The San Francisco 49ers are having to deal with some very important injuries that have jeopardized their progress during this offseason, especially during the OTA’s as well as looking into their preseason preparations. Some of the team’s most important injured players at the moment are QB Jimmy Garoppolo, RB Elijah Mitchell, TE George Kittle, LT Trent Williams, and RT Mike McGlinchey on offense.
On defense, players like LDE Dee Ford, LDT Javon Kinlaw, WLB Dre Greenlaw, SLB Azeez Al-Shaair and 2nd string CB Jason Verrett have all had to deal with injuries of different magnitudes that have limited their participation in the team’s preparations for the season thus far. Both on offense and defense, the hopes are that all players will be ready for the preseason as well as the first week of action when they face the Chicago Bears at Soldier Field.
San Francisco 49ers Offense
Don’t “@” me if you’re a Garoppolo fan, but you, me, and everyone around the league know that Jimmy G’s time with the Niners, at least as a starter is done and over with. The time for 2nd-year QB Trey Lance to take over the offense and lead it into the future is here and we are all for it.
With the help of players such as WR Deebo Samuel, who finally decided to come back to the team for at least one more year, TE George Kittle, one of the best players in his position in the league, and HB Kyle Juszczyk, a monster for that strong 2nd down runs, the timing couldn’t be better for this Niners offense to make a gigantic leap towards becoming one of the best offenses in the NFC.
But let’s not kid ourselves, the main key to this offense’s success this season will be how good LT Trent Williams leads the Niners offensive line. It shouldn’t come as a shock whatsoever that Williams, arguably the best OL player in the league got a 99 rating in Madden.
The man is a beast, a leader, and above all, a force to be reckoned with. For a QB like Lance who is bound to become the franchise’s QB for the foreseeable future to have an offensive line led by Williams, the picture could not get any better.
San Francisco 49ers Defense
The 49ers have always been famous for being the first team to ever institute the “West Coast offense” style of playing, but you know what else the Niners should be getting a lot of credit for? Always having a very strong defensive line, both in the front and secondary. It’s no real secret that the biggest successes for San Francisco in the past couple of years have come primarily from having one of the best defenses in the NFC. Yes, their offense is good, but not good enough to become a pivotal, game-winning unit all in itself.
When you have players like Dee Ford, Fred Warner, Nick Bosa, Arik Armstead, Javon Kinlaw, and Dre Greenlaw running your first line of defense and a secondary that plays as the perfect second-fiddle down the field, there’s little to nothing that can go wrong. Yes, this line could benefit from maybe a little bit more help in the CB position, but still, at the end of the day, keep an eye on how good this defense handles itself, especially in a season like the one coming up where the Niners will be looking to make it past the NFC Championship game and into the Super Bowl once again.
San Francisco 49ers Special Teams
In the special teams department of the San Francisco 49ers, there aren’t any changes to a unit that doesn’t necessarily need any changes to its functioning. Kicker Robbie Gould is back for his 5th season with San Francisco, with Mitch Wishnowsky keeping his spot as both punter and holder for the team and Taybor Pepper starting as the team’s long snapper.
In the punt return slot, the responsibilities will fall on the hands of wide receivers Ray-Ray McCloud and Brandon Aiyuk, while for kick return duties, running back JaMycal Hasty as well as Jauan Jennings and once again Ray-Ray McCloud will be sharing the duties in the team.
San Francisco 49ers Prediction for 2022 Season
A lot of what happens with the San Francisco 49ers this season will rely on the decision that the coaching staff makes on who will be playing at QB once the actions get underway. While all signs point toward Trey Lance being the new shot-caller for San Francisco’s offense, not just now but in the upcoming future, he will still need a lot of help from his offensive line and teammates on offense to be able to truly stamp his mark on the team from early on.
On defense, there’s not much to worry about when it comes to the Niners. This team can ball when it comes to stopping opposing offenses, with maybe the secondary needing a little bit of help moving forward. But besides that, this team is looking all sorts of good from anywhere you see it. Their biggest mission this season will be to try and withhold the Rams in the battle for the NFC West divisional crown, but even if they come in 2nd to LA, the Niners will be a team nobody is going to want to face in the postseason.
San Francisco 49ers Final Thoughts
What’s there honestly not to like about the San Francisco 49ers? They have one of the best, offense-driven, young coaches in the league. They have a roster full of explosive players that can determine the outcome of any game with their actions alone. They have a rich history in the league, their playing style is solid both on offense and defense and they have one of the best young prospects at QB ready to run the offense into better territories.
With the Niners, you always get a team that’s ready to grind and compete, which is something all football fans appreciate, especially nowadays when football has become a sport less about the physicality and more about the show. They are consistent playoff candidates and have missed out on getting back to the Super Bowl because of tiny errors. If Lance and company can get rolling right from the start, expect great things from this team not just in 2022 but in the foreseeable future ahead as well.
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San Francisco 49ers Frequently Asked Questions
1. What Super Bowls did the 49ers win?
The San Francisco 49ers are ranked in the fifth position in the list of teams that have gone to the Super Bowl the most time in the history of the league with seven appearances in total. While they have lost in their last two appearances, in 2012 against the Baltimore Ravens in SB XLVII and 2019 against the Kansas City Chiefs in SB LIV, they have five wins, with four of them coming in the 1980s, making the Niners the best football team in the land in that time.
Led by the likes of QB Joe Montana in all four of their wins in the ’80s as well as WR Jerry Rice in the last two wins in the decade, two of the best football players to ever grace the game, the Niners went on to defeat the Cincinnati Bengals in SB XVI, the Miami Dolphins in SB XIX, the Cincinnati Bengals once again in SB XXIII and the Denver Broncos in SB XXIV. Lastly, San Francisco, still with Jerry Rice at the helm of the offense, but this time with another Niners great, Steve Young at QB, defeated the former San Diego Chargers to win SB XXIX.
2. What was the best 49ers team of all time?
It’s hard to pick one specific team that can be considered the best Niners squad of all time, so instead how about we talk about how the San Francisco 49ers were by far the best team in the 80s. Coached by the great Bill Walsh and then by Walsh’s protégé George Seifert, having a team that spelled talent from anywhere you looked at it, Joe Montana and his Niners team took the 80’s by storm and did not look back one second, winning four Super Bowls along the way.
Counting on players of the magnitude of Joe Montana, Ronnie Lott, Dwight Clark, Carlton Williamson, Dwight Hicks, Eric Wright, Fred Dean, Jerry Rice, and John Taylor to name a few, the 49ers not only were one of the most dominant teams on the field but also one of the most popular as well. Thanks to their fresh style of playing, implementing the famous “West Coast Offense” system, that 49ers team of the ’80s can easily be considered as one of the best to ever grace the league.
3. Is Jimmy Garoppolo’s Time as Starting QB For The 49ers Over?
All signs point to a definite yes on that part. While there haven’t been any real, pointing issues to use as the reasons for Garoppolo’s falling out with the team, after the selection of QB Trey Lance in the 2021 draft it was more than clear that San Francisco was ready to move on from Jimmy G. After leading the team to various levels of success including taking them to Super Bowl LIV, in a losing effort against the Chiefs, it seems as if the love affair between the former Patriots backup QB and the Niners has hit its final stages.
Coach Kyle Shanahan and his staff see this team being better off in the future with Trey Lance at the helm and with Garoppolo either leaving the team or settling into a new role as the veteran backup QB to help groom Lance in the early years of his NFL tenure. With a myriad of other teams around the league turning the page and handing the reigns of their offenses over to younger QBs, San Francisco is more than ready to continue with the trend which for Garoppolo sadly means either hitting the bench or hitting the road.
4. Which Are the Most Important 49ers Players For 2022?
Deebo Samuel, Trent Williams, George Kittle, and Nick Bosa can all brag about being the most important players in the 49ers right now. Of course, we can’t forget about players like Dee Ford, Fred Warner, Kyle Juszczyk, and Arik Armstead, but it’s no secret that this team is substantially better thanks to Samuel, Williams, Kittle, and Bosa bring to the table.
Samuel, Williams, and Kittle have become pivotal parts of San Francisco’s offense, with Williams having achieved something that is a gargantuan feat all in itself, landing a 99 score on this year’s Madden ratings, something unheard of for an offensive lineman in the league.
For Samuel and Kittle, two of the best wide receiver and tight ends in the league, 2022, now with Trey Lance surely calling the shots from the QB position, will surely be another year of massive gains both personally and from a team’s offensive production perspective.
On defense, Bosa is poised to have 2022 be a year of massive numbers and accolades. If there is one line that has consistently improved more and more as time goes by it’s San Francisco’s defense, this having all been partly thanks to Bosa and the effect he has had on the unit ever since joining the league in 2019.