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It’s Time to Take the San Francisco 49ers Seriously

With the best defense in the league paired with continuity and talent, the Niners should be in the conversation among the best in the NFC.

All felt lost in San Francisco when quarterback Trey Lance fractured his ankle in the first quarter of Week 2. But perhaps fans and media both failed to realize how ready the 49ers really were to face adversity.

Since Lance’s injury, the 49ers have rattled off three out of four wins — most recently a 24-9 rout over the reigning champion Rams on Monday Night Football. It’s nothing fancy, really, but more a culmination of different players that embody San Fran’s gritty style and the best defense in the NFL.

That defense sacked Matthew Stafford seven times for a loss of 54 yards and forced a pick-six. Jimmy Garappolo threw for 289 yards and one touchdown, and Deebo Samuel finished with six receptions for 115 yards and a touchdown.

You can even throw head coach Kyle Shanahan into the mix. He’s defeated Rams coach Sean McVay seven straight times in the regular season.

We’re talking about a seasoned team here — one that might’ve been prematurely preparing for a rebuild instead of trusting the same foundation that fell in the NFC Championship game just last year and in the Super Bowl in 2019.

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So, why the rush to change QBs? Why nearly push both Deebo and Jimmy G out of town? Why undermine the real, tangible success they’ve had in recent years?

This team should be taken seriously — despite a dramatic offseason. Just ask the experts.

“I think the Niners have a real shot [at coming out of the NFC] with Jimmy Garoppolo,” said NFL RedZone host Scott Hanson in an interview with Boardroom. “I don’t think that they’re hurting as much as people may think they are because Trey Lance will miss the year.”

Deebo Drama

The dual-threat receiver removed all Niners references from his social media accounts, requested a trade, and held out from training camp until July 31. Then, he signed a three-year extension worth $71.6 million ($58.1 million guaranteed).

He’s the 13th-highest-paid WR by contract value and only hauled in seven catches in the first two games, but he broke out in Week 4, highlighted by a 57-yard catch-and-run straight to the house.

“Every time I get the chance to get the ball in my hands, it’s just my mentality of trying to make it a big play, but it’s just second nature to me right now,” Samuel said after the game. “When I go out there it’s just me and the ball. Breaking tackles is just something I do all the time.”

Jimmy G Drama

One day before the Niners kicked off their season against Chicago, the two sides finally came to an agreement on a revised contract that keeps him with the 49ers through the end of the 2022 season.

The Niners were ready to move on from Jimmy G, and Jimmy G was reportedly had something brewing with the Rams in the event that he became available. Now we’re talking about how he’s 7-0 against them in the regular season.

He isn’t fancy, but he gets the job done in an innovative offensive system. What is fancy, however, is his contract incentives.

Defense Wins

“I think [our defense] is the best in the league,” Nick Bosa said after the win.

Good call, Nick. Because they are the best defense in the NFL — and it isn’t really close.

  • 1st in opponent points per game (11.5)
  • T-1st in total yards allowed (938)
  • 2nd in passing yards allowed (161.3)
  • 2nd in rushing yards allowed (73.3)

Bosa’s at the forefront of it all. He had a career-high 14 QB pressures (30 total, No.1 in the NFL) against the Rams with a pressure rate of 31.8% — nearly equivalent to the NFL’s average pressure rate for an entire defense (31.9%). Bosa also leads the league in sacks (six).

The 49ers exercised the fifth-year option on his rookie deal. He’ll earn a base salary of $895,000 this season and $17.8 million fully guaranteed in 2023.

Next Up

The Niners have the eighth-easiest schedule based on opponent win percentage (46.2%). They should win their next two against the lowly Panthers (1-3) in Week 5 and against the Falcons (2-2) in Week 6, but nothing is certain. After all, they lost to the Bears and Broncos.

Future Odds

All odds via FanDuel Sportsbook

  • Win NFC West: (+120)
  • Win Super Bowl: (+1700)
  • Make Playoffs: Yes (-118) | No (+170)
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