When people talk of Super Bowl contenders, usually they focus on the Patriots, Seahawks, or the Packers.
With all this attention on so few teams, it’s easy for another to sneak up from behind and take the title.
People tend to not take these teams seriously.
With that, I’d like to make a case for my “sleeper” team, the San Francisco 49ers.
It is no secret that this team had a rough year in 2014-2015, finishing 8-8 in a brutal NFC.
This is the conference that has produced four of the last six Super Bowl winners (five if Seattle ran the ball).
But, I’m optimistic.
The team’s off-field problems and poor locker room chemistry leaked onto the field.
With all the distractions, the players weren’t properly focused.
When the issue is lack of focus, the first problem area to address is coaching, after all attitude reflects leadership.
It’s a new season with a new coach.
Will they regress if they start struggling? Possibly, but then we’ll see exactly what this coach can do when faced with a challenge.
This is his first time as a head coach, so we’ll see how ready he is.
Of course, they have Colin Kaepernick under center.
I’d look for him to prove himself as a legitimate QB this year, and I’d like to think he wants to show that San Francisco is a legitimate threat this year.
He has veteran receivers, Anquan Boldin and Torrey Smith, to haul in what he throws out.
Let’s also not forget that star TE Vernon Davis.
Those three are always players the defense needs to account for, and even then they still can come up with the play.
Now, their main running back, Carlos Hyde, is only in his second year and will be filling the shoes of Frank Gore, but I think the Ohio State running back is ready for it.
He played in five games last season and never fumbled the ball once.
Plus, they have Reggie Bush to fill in for Hyde when he needs a substitution.
I know I’m putting a lot of faith in the offense, but, unless more rules changed this crazy offseason, the idea is to outscore the opponents.
If the NaVorro Bowman led defense can hold its own, and the team keeps its composure, San Francisco will be posed to correct the mistake it made in Super Bowl 47 and become champions again.