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2021 Playoff Analysis: San Francisco 49ers
San Francisco 49ers
Elite Quarterback
7 points
Premiere Offensive Weapons
2 points per player
Deebo Samuel
George Kittle
Elijah Mitchell / JaMycal Hasty
Brandon Aiyuk
Elite Pass Rushers
4 points per player
Nick Bosa
Arik Armstead
Quality Offensive Coaching
6 points
Kyle Shanahan
Quality Defensive Coaching
6 points
DeMeco Ryans
Number of Successful Comebacks
7 total points if the team successfully staged at least 3 comebacks
Elimination Game Experience
2 points each for offense, defense, and special teams units, provided a majority of key role players on a given unit have experience in elimination game scenarios.
Special Teams
Quarterback Elimination Game Experience
6 points if a quarterback has experience in an elimination game
Score Range
34 - 40

I really like this 49er team. It’s a damn shame they’re going up against a true Super Bowl contender in the Dallas Cowboys in the first round. If this team exits early, it’s not for a lack of championship qualities. The team has a rare advantage most other playoff organizations lack - solid coaching. Combine that with a full set of playmakers on offense and a potentially jacked defense headlined by Nick Bosa and Arik Armstead and San Francisco could have sown some real havoc as road underdogs had they faced off against lesser opponents like the Rams or the Buccaneers.

The problem with the 49ers ultimately is two-fold. One, Jimmy Garoppalo isn’t an elite quarterback. Outside of a sensational outing against the Rams last week, he hasn’t been very impressive in any one of his games this season. Efficient, sure, one could make that argument, but elite quarterbacks need to carry their entire offense in tough moments, and Garoppalo hasn’t really proven himself the type of man to marshal his men forward in adverse moments. Their comebacks ratio is actually negative, meaning they’ve given up more comebacks than they’ve successfully mounted. The other issue with the organization is that the team doesn’t definitively boast two dominant pass rushers along their front. San Francisco has quite a few good players lining up alongside Nick Bosa, but not one of them has flashed consistently enough. The only one coming the closest is Arik Armstead, and I will rewadd him with recognition here given how all his impactful plays against the Rams last week were so absolutely critical to the 49ers making the playoffs. Without Armstead’s presence on the field, San Francisco would have been cleaning out their lockers this week.

So we can see that these 49ers are one of the better wild card contenders going into the postseason, but the luck of the draw may end up being their downfall here.

San Francisco survives their road trip to Dallas and advances far into the postseason if
Garoppallo escalates his level of play and Arik Armstead truly breaks out as a dominant pass rusher alongside Nick Bosa. Neither will be easy to achieve, especially in enemy territory.