The 49ers were minutes away from winning Super Bowl LIV, and yet if you've been paying attention to the offseason storylines, you might forget they're the reigning NFC champions.
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers have been the flavor of the offseason thus far, due to a couple notable additions. Acquiring Tom Brady and Rob Gronkowski is bound to have that effect.
Meanwhile, both the New Orleans Saints and Dallas Cowboys have been lauded for the offensive additions they made in free agency and the 2020 NFL Draft.
Would You Rather...— GMFB (@gmfb) April 30, 2020
Have the Saints pass offense OR the Cowboys pass offense heading into the 2020 season? pic.twitter.com/Tce11dGu6c
All of that is fair. The Bucs, Saints and Cowboys should all have improved offenses in 2020 and should all rank among the best in the league. And they'll need to be in order to close the gap with San Francisco.
Though it wasn't by a ton, the 49ers had a superior scoring offense to all of those teams last season. San Francisco ranked second in the NFL with an average of 29.9 points per game during the regular season, while the Saints and Bucs (28.6) tied for third and the Cowboys (27.1) came in sixth. Dallas and Tampa Bay actually averaged more total yards per game, but the 49ers were far more efficient when it came to putting points on the board.
And while the Bucs, Saints and Cowboys each have made significant offensive additions this offseason, the same can be said for San Francisco. First-round pick Brandon Aiyuk will replace Emmanuel Sanders in the 49ers' offense, while Trent Williams amazingly can be considered an upgrade over the recently-retired Joe Staley. The rushing attack should be just as prolific and, health permitting, Kyle Shanahan should have even more weapons available to him than he did a season ago.
Perhaps that's why the 49ers, despite not being the talk of the offseason, still remain the favorites (+375) to represent the NFC in Super Bowl LV, according to BetMGM.
Oh, and by the way, their defense is pretty good, too.
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