After falling just short in the NFC Championship last year, the San Francisco 49ers have Super Bowl or bust aspirations in 2023.
SportsGrid looks at the 49ers through three weeks of action.
Make sure to utilize SportsGrid’s NFL game picks.
1. 49ers Have NFL’s Deepest Skill Position Player Group
Let’s start with this question. How are teams supposed to game plan against this 49ers offense? Maybe Brock Purdy doesn’t scare you at quarterback, but Christian McCaffrey, Deebo Samuel, Brandon Aiyuk, and George Kittle should. You can only contain so many of these players on offense, and that doesn’t even factor in how deep this group is beyond those four talents. Not only can this group of talented playmakers make contested catches, but the yards after catch they rack up should be studied in a museum one day. If the 49ers can stay healthy in 2023, and that’s a big if, they will be challenging to stop in their pursuit of a Super Bowl. There isn’t much to look forward to with their Week 4 matchup against the Arizona Cardinals, but Week 5 highlights two of the best teams in the NFL going head-to-head when the 49ers host the Dallas Cowboys on Sunday Night Football. Circle that date, folks.
2. Nick Bosa and the Defense is Coming
After an offseason contract dispute, it took some time for Nick Bosa to fully return to his usual self, but he arrived in Week 3 against the Giants. The reigning AP NFL Defensive Player of the Year recorded his first sack of the year in Week 3, and there are plenty more to come. Bosa is dangerous and one of the league’s most electric, game-breaking pass rushers. Surrounded by Fred Warner, Arik Armstead, Javon Hargrave, and Javon Kinlaw, the 49ers are loaded with elite talents on defense. The 49ers gave the Pittsburgh Steelers no room to breathe in Week 1 while following that up with another strong showing against the Los Angeles Rams in Week 2. San Francisco allowed just 12 points at home to the Giants in Week 3, and we are very high on this unit doing damage in 2023.
3. Can Brock Purdy be the Guy?
Even though 49ers quarterback Brock Purdy posted his most impressive stat line of the season against the Giants in Week 3, if you watch the entire game, you didn’t come away impressed with the second-year signal-caller. If the Giants had more playmakers on defense, Purdy could have had multiple turnovers on Thursday night. It’s not to say that we aren’t buying into what he can do with this offense, but it’s fair to say that the odds of him finding success in a different offense would be difficult to get behind. Purdy is an excellent fit for what the 49ers want to do offensively, and he’s fortunate to be throwing to an offensive group with so many highly skilled weapons. Purdy has demonstrated he can win games in the postseason, but we need to see him do this in a larger sample size before we fully buy-in.