49ers ready to roll into 2021 season with new momentum

After a Super Bowl bid two years ago, SF will look to bounce-back after a year of injuries

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Arman Archouniani

Levi’s Stadium ready to be filled for the home opener against the Green Bay Packers.

A very crucial season is ahead for the San Francisco 49ers. They have a group of guys that are starving to get back into the bright lights as they’re 20 months removed from a Super Bowl loss. A franchise as big as the 49ers demands excellence on and off the field and this 53-man roster is one of the best groups I have seen in a very long time. While I was at the open practice at Levi’s Stadium, I could not help but see all the players having interactions on the field, almost like watching a family play together.

John Lynch, the general manager of the 49ers, has brought back the culture of what red and gold football is all about. The passion and drive have been revived in the locker room after a year decimated with COVID protocols and injuries all over the roster. Head Coach Kyle Shanahan did not expect the 2020 season to go the way it did with a 6-10 record after many big injuries to key parts of the team.

The offseason was a very critical factor in how the 49ers would be looked at in terms of how good they will be. Retaining the likes of Trent Williams, Jason Verrett, Fred Warner, and K’Waun Williams allowed them to hang onto big names that have helped them in the past. Many heads would have been turned if these deals were not done. Williams and Verrett were the two big ones because their contracts were coming to an end after the 2020 season. After stellar years from them both, these contracts were well deserved.

The season kicks off against the Detroit Lions on Sept. 12 and it’s a game that the 49ers should win with the roster they have built. A very favorable matchup in the season opener in Detroit would get the confidence back in the locker room with a win and provide adrenaline heading into future weeks. A tough set of games are to come after the Week 2 matchup in Philadelphia against the Eagles. With all the firepower in the NFC, a start to the season with two road wins would be needed out of this talented group knowing the tough games that are ahead.

Weeks 3-7 are probably the toughest stretch throughout the season. The 49ers home-opener against the Green Bay Packers is the matchup of Week 3 and the Sunday Night Football bout is a big one. A rivalry that has been in history for years renews in Week 4 when San Francisco takes on the Seattle Seahawks, a game that can be judged by the flip of a coin. It can go either way which makes this game very tricky knowing the impact of a divisional game. Week 5 in Arizona against the Cardinals is a very exciting matchup as we have seen several nail-biting games in the last two years between the two sides. After an important Week 6 bye, the squad will be well-rested for another Sunday Night Football game against the Indianapolis Colts who are a very tough side to play against with a new quarterback coming to town in Carson Wentz.

The NFC is filled with talent and there is not much room for error for Shanahan and the squad. This is a big season for him as a head coach for the 49ers. Heading into the season, his 29-35 record has featured many underlying issues due to major injury hits to the roster every year. In the one season where the 49ers had a relatively healthy squad, they made it to the Super Bowl. Executives around the league still believe Shanahan is one of the best in the game for the knowledge he brings to the table.

49er fans are also hyped for the new guy in town, 2021 first-round pick Trey Lance. This is also Jimmy Garoppolo’s year to shine. With all the talent this team has, their ambitions should be getting back to the Super Bowl they were at just under two years ago. Winning the division will not be easy because of the offseason moves done by the Los Angeles Rams, but that is the first step for this 49ers squad to get back to where they want to be.

If they were to make the playoffs they need to make sure they have the best record in the NFC and get that number one seed so the playoffs run through Levi’s Stadium. The roar that the crowd will produce after not being able to go for 20 months will be vital for this team. A very exciting season is ahead for the San Francisco 49ers.