(KPIX)- Coming off a Super Bowl appearance in February, the 49ers are once again considered to be among those teams vying for the Lombardi Trophy when the 2020 season begins.
Oddsmakers have listed Kyle Shanahan’s squad with the best odds in the NFC and the third-best odds in the league of winning Super Bowl LV in Tampa Bay.
That type of favorite status isn’t always given to teams coming off of Super Bowl runs, but in the case of the 49ers it makes sense. When looking at their offseason, the team addressed the two glaring holes on the roster left by the retirement of stalwart left tackle Joe Staley and the trade of defensive tackle DeForest Buckner.
“The 49ers had two key departures, and I think they addressed those in the draft and via trade with Washington. Trent Williams, you can’t find a better replacement at left tackle to protect Jimmy Garoppolo’s blindside,” said KPIX sports anchor Dennis O’Donnell. “You have that problem solved with an All-Pro tackle replacing Staley. Then, Javon Kinlaw was their top draft pick, a defensive tackle, to replace DeForest Buckner. The 49ers have invested so much defensively on that defensive line in the last few years, but Kinlaw was needed to replace Buckner.”
Williams, a multiple-time Pro Bowler for the Redskins, sat out all of last season after demanding a trade from the team following the deterioration of his relationship with them. At just 31 years old, he appears to have several more prime seasons left in which he can fill the void left by Staley.
As O’Donnell points out, Kinlaw is just the latest example of the organization’s investment in the defensive line. The 49ers have selected a defensive lineman with their first-round pick in five of the last six years now.
Add in the team’s second first-round selection, wide receiver Brandon Aiyuk, as a dangerous weapon with the ball in his hands, and it looks like the team is poised once again to make a run to February of 2021. After seeing the team’s schedule release last week, that’s exactly what O’Donnell believes will happen.
“I think they get back to the Super Bowl. You look at the rest of the NFC, the 49ers are still the team to beat. You can put anybody on the 49ers schedule, and I’m not going to negate their chances of getting back to the Super Bowl anymore,” said O’Donnell. “I don’t see any major obstacles for the 49ers. I said they would win 10 games last year, I’m going to guess 12-4 this year.”
O’Donnell is a bit higher on the team than our friends at SportsLine, though not by much. Analyst Kenny White told CBS Local’s Katie Johnston last week that he expects the team to win 11 games.
The 2020 season is currently slated to kick off September 10th with the Kansas City Chiefs hosting the Houston Texans before the 49ers welcome the Cardinals to Levi’s Stadium that Sunday, the 13th.