Despite ranking all three of the 49ers' division rival quarterbacks higher than Jimmy Garoppolo and Trey Lance in his annual QB rankings, Chris Simms still believes San Francisco should be the favorite in the NFC West in 2021.
"It's not all about the quarterback, there's more to the team than the quarterback," Simms said on "Chris Simms Unbuttoned." "I think the 49ers stay healthy, Jimmy Garoppolo, even Trey Lance, they'll be fine. To me, it's all about health. They are the best team in the NFC West in my opinion, but we've seen two out of the last three years, they've had the injury bug a little bit.
"When you just look at the high-end talent on the starting 22, depth, again I know the 49ers were hurt a lot last year but let's not forget, they were never out of the playoff conversation until the last two weeks because they had pretty good depth behind it to make things going. And then you add the coaching and the creativity of Shanahan everything like that. Yeah, they're in the leader house to me."
Garoppolo, George Kittle, Raheem Mostert, Richard Sherman and Nick Bosa were just a handful of the key 49ers that were forced to miss multiple games due to injury.
The 49ers went 3-3 in the division in 2020, splitting the two games with the Arizona Cardinals, beating the Los Angeles Rams twice and dropping a pair of games to the Seattle Seahawks.
Per odds provided by our partner PointsBet, the Rams and 49ers are tied at plus-190 (bet 100 to win 190) to win the NFC West in 2021. After five seasons with former No. 1 overall pick and Bay Area native Jared Goff at QB in LA, the Rams executed a blockbuster trade for Matthew Stafford this offseason.
The Cardinals added a pair of former All-Pros from downtrodden teams in J.J. Watt and A.J. Green this offseason, while the Seahawks stayed pretty quiet throughout free agency and the draft.
The 49ers almost certainly will have Garoppolo under center to start the 2021 season, and if he stays healthy and the rest of the roster plays up to expectations, there's no question the 49ers should be a contender for not just the division, but the NFC crown.
Week 1 can't come soon enough.