A Super Bowl loss can be a death sentence for a team.
The fabled ‘Super Bowl hangover’ is in many ways real – throughout the history of the competition, only eight teams have been able to return to the Super Bowl the season after losing the Big Game.
Last season the San Francisco 49ers found themselves in that position – going down 31-20 to the Kansas City Chiefs.
Being one Lombardi Trophy away from tying the record for most Super Bowl wins could weigh heavy on the 49ers or could propel them towards a second consecutive Super Bowl and complete what is one of the most interesting projects in the sport.
Pulling off a repeat
As touched upon, pulling off a repeat of Super Bowl appearances is no easy feat – especially when you’re heading into the new season with the hangover of a huge loss.
However, as owner Jed York said following that very loss – “We are probably not going to get it right in the first year, first two years. But this is something we’re going to try to build and I believe we have a very good foundation. The future is bright for us.”
They may have lost the Lombardi Trophy with just 8 minutes to go back in February – but there is a steely resilience to the 49ers that suggests they’ll be able to bounce back
Injuries have hit them hard but the consistency of the team last season and a slew of interesting draft picks (more on that later) means that fans of the 49ers are quietly confident of their chances throughout the 2020 season.
Most oddsmakers, including Paddy Power (find a casino review here), have the 49ers as the 3rd choice to win the Super Bowl this year – typically behind the Kansas City Chiefs and Baltimore Ravens. Should it be the former – and we see a super Bowl repeat – the concept of a hangover could be old news. If you want to learn if these are odds you can trust check out this review of Paddy Power and get the best sports betting insight.
A schedule (and season) unlike any other
Football fans are no doubt tired of every conversation surrounding their team, league and the season itself becoming one about the impact of coronavirus.
However, sport is on a knife-edge in the United States at the moment. And while the league is set to resume in September there are still significant concerns surrounding how it will impact the season.
Obviously no team will have a clear advantage as every side suffers through the same restrictions and lack of an offseason. But how this affects the overall schedule could play into the 49ers’ hands.
A lack of off-season suggests a lack of time to get teams together to practice new strategies and tactics. This could play into the hands of teams who dominated last year and have largely been able to keep their core squad together despite the 2020 draft going ahead. The 49ers have been able to do just that.
With a season schedule that fans are looking at positively due to a sequence of highly winnable games – even if they get bunched together and game week breaks are canceled due to further outbreaks – this could be a season working in the Niners’ favor.
The quality of their roster
When it comes down to it football isn’t about schedules, injuries and supposed curses laid on losing team – it’s about the quality of your roster.
Every team in the NFL has to deal with the potential for injuries throughout the season, you just need to construct a squad that can adapt to these unfortunate circumstances and build on your strengths displayed the season prior.
Throughout the 2019 season, the 49ers’ greatest strength was their defense.
If you’re being harsh, you could say that the San Francisco side was carried by a phenomenal defense that bolstered a lesser attack. Despite losing DeForrest Buckner (for wage concerns above all else) in the draft that have been able to pick up some great choices for their defensive line such as defensive tackle Javon Kinlaw – who will surely plug some of the huge gaps left by Buckner’s absence.
The 49ners are running with an elite system. While even an elite system can struggle to bounce back from high profile defeats, the Niners roster is almost completely lacking in holes. There are always improvements to make. But with key elements from last seasons such as an elite pass rush and a proven ability to find top talent, this is a team set up for elongated success, not just a quick hit try at the Super Bowl.
For so many reasons (more than any other season) it’s incredibly difficult to predict which team will find Super Bowl glory and how well the 49ers will do. We’re inclined to go with the oddsmakers and think they have a solid shot.