It is a great feeling to be 10-1 going into week 13 of the regular season. The San Francisco 49ers have not only assured themselves of a playoff berth, but a potential Super Bowl appearance. 2019 has been an exciting year for the 49ers and the faithful. Watching this team brings nothing but a great rush of joy.
This team has come a long way from the last time they were serious Super Bowl contenders. With it being Thanksgiving today, the 49ers should be thankful for this season. However, there are three specific things that they should give thanks for on this wonderful Thanksgiving day.
Five years ago, the state of the 49ers was in a downward spiral. The reason the franchise took a turn for the worst was because of owner Jed York. York was meddling with the day-to-day football operations which led to internal strife that was already looming in the building with former head coach Jim Harbaugh. His famous quote “winning with class” was an absolute joke. All he wanted to do was feel powerful since it was his team.
He wanted to show his power more and n anything else, including winning. For a while, it was looking like it would take years for the 49ers to get back to a winning team because York was stuck in his own way. However, he recognized he needed to take a step back. That having his hands all over the football operations was not ideal. Because of that, the 49ers were able to find their way to Kyle Shanahan.
The only way that was happening is if York bit the bullet on Chip Kelly. Something that most owners refuse to do based on the mountain of money already tied in. York, at that point, realized his value of winning and fired Kelly, which he then hired Shanahan. Now the 49ers look set for years to come. For this, the 49er faithful should give thanks to Jed York for taking a backseat and allowing the football people to do their job.
Once the 49ers fired Chip Kelly, all eyes were pointed at potential replacements. Sean McVay was one of them and for a bit it looked like the 49ers missed an opportunity by not inking him to a deal. Flip the page to week 13 of 2019 and the narrative is completely changed. The 49ers and their fans should be thankful for Kyle Shanahan.
The guy lives and breathes football. He just can’t get enough of it. The best coaches in the NFL have been ones with limited interests outside of football. Shanahan is a mad genius and it is thanks to him for all of the success the 49ers are having this season. From the moment he and John Lynch stepped into the building, they began planting the seeds for the future.
With two rough years in 2017 and 2018, the 49ers have now exploded onto the scene in 2019. A playoff berth is now inevitable for them and even a Super Bowl title. The seeds that they have planeted grew into a full tree of success that we are currently seeing now.
One of the seeds that Shanahan and Lynch planted was during the 2017 NFL draft. The 49ers and Chicago Bears engaged in a trade that swapped their positions in the first round. In doing so, the Bears sent the 49ers their third round (No. 67) and fourth round (No. 111), as well as their 2018 third-round pick next year. All of that draft capital just to move up one spot.
The 49ers should give thanks to the Bears for allowing them to be finessed. Chicago use the swap to take Mitchell Trubisky who can’t even complete a simple pass. Meanwhile, despite whiffing on the Solomon Thomas and Reuben Foster trade the 49ers still struck gold with the Bears’ mid-round picks. Both the 2017 and 2018 third-round picks for the 49ers allowed them to draft Ahkello Witherspoon and Fred Warner.
Two players who have evolved into Pro Bowl caliber players. It is safe to say that 100% the 49ers won the trade. These two players have become key pieces to the success in 2019. They also cornerstones to maintain the elite status of the defense. With these two players alone, the Bears should be given thanks for allowing themselves to be take advantage of