Who is the 49ers Biggest Threat in the NFC?
Jose Luis Sanchez III
The journey to Super Bowl LIV was not an easy one for the San Francisco 49ers.
Despite looking dominant week after week, they were never in the clear in the NFC, let alone their own division. It’s why it took until the conclusion of the regular season to see where the 49ers would be slotted in the playoffs.
2020 is poised to be just as challenging as last season in the NFC. It won’t be easy for the 49ers to return to the Super Bowl with the abundance of elite teams in the conference.
But the real question is: who is the 49ers biggest threat in the NFC?
The one team that will be and still remains the most difficult to face is the New Orleans Saints. The shootout between these two teams in week 14 was one of, if not the best games last season. It took a career day from Jimmy Garoppolo just to win the game by a field goal as the clock expired.
It feels like the football world was robbed when the Saints didn’t close the deal against the Minnesota Vikings in the Wild Card round. Seeing these two teams have it out again with a trip to the Super Bowl on the line would have been something special. 2020 will likely see these two teams make up for that missed matchup.
The Saints are still a top-tier team that should not be trifled with. For this upcoming season they have a chance to be even stronger. New Orleans swayed Emmanuel Sanders away from the 49ers to pair him up with All-Pro wide receiver Michael Thomas. On the defensive side of the ball they brought in a familiar face by signing Malcom Jenkins. These two signings alone are noteworthy.
Veteran signings like this are usually enough to tip the scale for a team poised for a Super Bowl run. The fact that they added a couple of solid pieces makes the matchup with the 49ers this season THE premier matchup.
Both of these teams have stout defenses, electric offenses, and high-level coaching. It is no wonder the NFL scheduled these two to face off again at the SuperDome.
Other teams worth considering here would be the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, as they retooled this offseason by adding Tom Brady, who is sure to push them towards their ceiling. They were not a bad team at all last season. It was just that Jameis Winston negated a lot of the positive plays they executed.
As for the Green Bay Packers, I just don’t envision them being as strong as last season. And considering what the 49ers have done to them in the last two matchups, I wouldn’t be worried about them one bit.
The main concern lies with the Saints because they pushed the 49ers harder than any other team. When these two square off again at the SuperDome, it is sure to be must watch football again.