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What 49ers Fans Should be Thankful for

Happy Thanksgiving, 49ers fans.

With only four winning seasons since 2003, the 49ers haven't given their fans much to be thankful for the past couple decades.

But they've won two games in a row, they're 5-5 and today is Thanksgiving. So let's list all the things for which 49ers fans should give thanks:

1. The fact that they're very much alive after losing four of five games earlier in the season.

2. The fact that the NFL now has three wild card teams instead of two.

3. Deebo Freaking Samuel, who is carrying the 49ers to the playoffs. Without him, they might have one or two wins. Now that he's playing running back, he's close to unstoppable. Had the 49ers used him at running back in the second half of the Super Bowl, they probably would have won.

4. Nick Bosa's return from his second ACL tear. Somehow, he looks better than he did in 2019.

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5. Brandon Aiyuk's emergence from the doghouse. A few weeks ago, the Jimmy Garoppolo wouldn't throw him the ball. Now, Garoppolo can't stop throwing it to Aiyuk, because he's getting open and catching everything. In addition, Aiyuk is allowing the 49ers to play Samuel at running back, which has unlocked their offense.

6. Elijah Mitchell. Early in the season, the 49ers lost their top two running backs -- Raheem Mostert and Jeff Wilson Jr. -- and someone had to step up. Mitchell did.

7. DeMeco Ryans. Before the season, he seemed like the biggest question mark on the team. Now, the defensive coaching staff looks like the strength of the team, and Ryans looks like a quality veteran coordinator.

8. Jimmie Freaking Ward. The one game he missed this season, the 49ers lost to Colt McCoy. The next week, Ward returned and almost singlehandedly saved the 49ers season by intercepting Rams quarterback Matthew Stafford twice in the first quarter.

8. The fact that Jimmy Garoppolo is raising his trade value. He didn't seem tradeable last offseason, but he definitelty seems tradeable now if he stays healthy.

9. The fact that Trey Lance is on the team and will get his opportunity to prove himself eventually.

Happy Thanksgiving, 49ers fans.