Teams that go 4-12 generally aren't expected to make the Super Bowl the following season. Yet, just a year after earning the second overall pick in the 2019 NFL Draft, that's exactly where the San Francisco 49ers found themselves last weekend.
That second overall pick turned into Nick Bosa, who, along with Dee Ford, helped revitalize the San Francisco pass-rush. Richard Sherman also returned to form as the league's top coverage cornerback, and improvements by players such as Jimmie Ward and K'Waun Williams flipped the narrative surrounding the 49ers' secondary. Most importantly, Jimmy Garoppolo returned from injury to lead one of the league's most fun offenses — an offense that finished the season ranked seventh in the NFL in expected points added per play.
With all those things breaking in the 49ers' favor, the opportunity to win the Super Bowl this season kind of felt like found money. Things weren't supposed to happen that quickly, but they did.
That doesn't make the 31-20 loss to the Kansas City Chiefs sting any less, however, particularly after taking a 10-point lead into the fourth quarter. A loss like that breeds motivation, which in turn, can breed redemption. So, these are the decisions that can help the 49ers not only make it back to the Super Bowl next season but help them lift the Lombardi Trophy.