The San Francisco 49ers are the only undefeated team in the NFL.
You read that right.
The same 49ers that went 4-12 last season are the only team left standing unscathed this year. And no, we haven’t traveled back to the 1980s.
There’s cause to blame San Francisco’s front office for the franchise’s struggles the last several years, but they also acquired what I think is the key piece that has propelled them to the top of the league.
I didn’t like the hire at the time, but the 49ers ended up making a good decision with Kyle Shanahan in 2017. He proved himself as an offensive coordinator, and patiently waited for a good head coaching job to open up.
Then he went to the bay.
At the time, I thought he was flushing his career down the toilet. I thought he should’ve stayed with the Falcons for a few more seasons and then applied for the head job in Denver.
Before he headed west, I thought Shannahan’s stock was plummeting. San Francisco fired Chip Kelly after a single season in 2016 in which the 49ers picked up only two wins. That same year, the Falcons’ offense went silent in the second half of Super Bowl LI, allowing New England to come back and win in overtime. If you had asked me then, I would have figured Shanahan would have found himself in the unemployment line after one season of being a head coach. Luckily, that didn’t happen.
Looking back, it seems that all of the right decisions were made. Also, we can’t ever really know, but if he had ended up in Denver like I thought he should have, the tables might be switched. The Broncos might be the ones undefeated.