The San Francisco 49ers are among the NFL’s most talented teams again, but is 2023 the year they win the Super Bowl?
Evaluating the 2023 49ers
After last night’s 30-12 win over the New York Giants, the San Francisco 49ers moved to 3-0 and are once again poised to be one of the premier teams in the NFL this season. They have made the NFC Championship Game in 3 of the past 4 seasons, including a Super Bowl appearance, and they have been itching to get back to the glory that Joe Montana once brought this franchise.
With one of the best coaches, defenses, and weapons groups in the NFL, there are few teams more respected than San Francisco is, and with that comes expectations. They have a good chance to win the NFC, but teams like the Cowboys, Eagles, and Seahawks are challenging, and this team has been known to have injury issues. Could this be the year of their big run?
Elite Defense and Weapons
When it comes to this 49ers roster, there is almost nothing that they are missing in terms of talent. The defense is loaded with big names and Pro Bowlers such as Nick Bosa, Fred Warner, Javon Kinlaw, Talanoa Hufanga, and Arik Armstead. Most teams could only dream of this kind of talent, and they push around the quarterback on the regular.
Daniel Jones looked lost last night behind a depleted Giants O-line, and that level of depth and dominance gives them the edge almost every single week. Their defense was so good in 2022 that defensive coordinator DeMeco Ryans was hired as a coach by the Texans, and new coordinator Steve Wilks should not skip a beat as he has head coaching experience.
The roster is not just on one side of the ball though. Their offensive line is loaded with names such as Trent Williams and Mark McGlinchey. They have a top three tight end who is elite in pass catching and blocking in George Kittle, and two physical receivers who can run the ball and catch it in Brandon Aiyuk and Deebo Samuel.
That does not even mention their latest addition Christian McCaffrey, who was acquired from the Panthers last season and now has a touchdown in twelve straight games. Head coach Kyle Shanahan usually doesn’t need an elite player to build great running games in his scheme, but McCaffrey might be the guy to let him do both. With this kind of physical talent, it is no wonder they are hard to beat.
Brock Purdy debacle
You will notice that with all of the names mentioned, one that hasn’t been is quarterback Brock Purdy, and that is because he’s relatively unproven overall. Taken as Mr. Irrelevant in the draft last season, he has only made 12 starts for the 49ers, and he is a whopping 11-1 in them.
The one loss was the NFC Championship game to the Eagles in which he got hurt in the first half. Despite this winning though, Purdy was never scouted as an elite talent, and there are questions about his size and arm talent. Several of his passes last night were almost picked off and it could be said that he got lucky that the Giants are young and inexperienced.
However, the Niners should believe in Purdy as they got rid of formerly highly scouted prospect Trey Lance for him this past offseason, as well as Jimmy Garoppolo, who started for them for several years. Garoppolo started during their Super Bowl and 2021 NFC Championship Game run, and there were constant questions about his true talent level while he did so. The same questions can be asked about Purdy, and although that doesn’t help it does show that they can win without an elite talent at the position.
Overall, the 49ers are my favorites to win the NFC West, and in a three way tie to go to the Super Bowl with the Cowboys and Eagles. As long as this team stays healthy they just match up too well on both sides of the ball with other teams, making them a force to be reckoned with.
Purdy isn’t the best quarterback but he is young and can learn, and wouldn’t be the first quarterback to win a Super Bowl without much experience. As long as the roster talent and coaching stays consistent, the 49ers will be fine and are as in it as anybody.