Most believe the 49ers will be battling for their sixth Vince Lombardi Trophy in 2023. But some executives and coaches in the league aren’t ruling out San Francisco taking a step back.
the athlete recently surveyed key decision makers around the NFL – including general managers, executives, head coaches and assistant coaches – about the upcoming season. Topics covered included designating an MVP, top three quarterbacks, and the league’s top non-quarterback offensive player.
Eighteen decision makers were asked to name three teams that will “badly” surprise people in the upcoming season. The 49ers received the most votes in this category (five) along with the Dallas Cowboys and the Green Bay Packers.
The Buffalo Bills, Miami Dolphins, and Tampa Bay Buccaneers placed second with four votes each.
The article offered no rationale as to why San Francisco received the most disappointing votes. The Bills’ difficulties in the running game (aside from quarterback Josh Allen) were cited as red flags, as was the Dolphins’ “too many egos” coupled with a young coach in Mike McDaniel.
Perhaps the 49ers’ sky-high expectations don’t leave much room to surprise fans on the positive side. There’s also the unknown of quarterback Brock Purdy, who lost 8-0 in eight games in which he played more than three quarters last year but fell back to mean.
It’s been a weird month for the 49ers, too. You acted former quarterback for future Trey Lanceand Star Pass rusher’s contract holdout Nick Bosa could break into the week 1 matchup against the Pittsburgh Steelers.
In fairness, 22 of the 32 teams in the same poll received at least one vote, further demonstrating the league’s unique parity each season. But other consensus Super Bowl candidates, like the Kansas City Chiefs and the Cincinnati Bengals, didn’t receive a single vote in that category.
The good news for all 49ers Faithful members panicking now? Top talent usually wins. And the 49ers have plenty of that.