After watching the confetti fall on their competitors in Super Bowl LVIII, the San Francisco 49ers face the arduous task of rebuilding a title contender following a heartbreaking loss to the Kansas City Chiefs. Though Kyle Shanahan and Co. would love to fast-forward through the 2024 season and kick the ball off in Super Bowl LIX, the 49ers must conduct an autopsy on their loss to determine how to build a bigger, better version of the bully who has dominated the NFC.
As a scout with the Carolina Panthers, I remember dealing with the gut punch delivered by the New England Patriots in Super Bowl XXXVIII. The three-point loss to Tom Brady ended a Cinderella run that was supposed to kick off an extended stay at the top of the NFC. With a young nucleus built around a collection of blue-chip players, including 2024 Hall of Fame inductee Julius Peppers, the Panthers appeared positioned for a series of title runs under John Fox.
Although we eventually appeared in the NFC Championship Game at the end of the 2005 season, the extended run never materialized due to roster turnover, player attrition, and inconsistent performance.
For the 49ers, it is easy to expect a return to the title game based on their superior talent and recent dominance, but returning to the Super Bowl in this league is hard. While there have been nine back-to-back champions, the Dallas Cowboys (Super Bowl V and Super Bowl VI) and New England Patriots (Super Bowl LII and Super Bowl LIII) are the only teams to win the championship after finishing as runner-ups the previous season.
[Related: Kyle Shanahan lets another Super Bowl slip away in 49ers’ OT loss to Chiefs]
Given those facts, the 49ers must confront the reality that it will be hard to return to this point next season. To pull it off, Shanahan and general manager John Lynch must determine whether to run it back with a group of almost “thirty-somethings” or revamp a roster with a collection of youngsters primed to play prominent roles.
Source link : https://www.foxsports.com/stories/nfl/how-kyle-shanahan-49ers-can-reload-after-crushing-super-bowl-lviii-defeat
Publish date : 2024-02-12 22:06:16
Copyright for syndicated content belongs to the linked Source.