The San Francisco 49ers came up just shy in their bid for a sixth Super Bowl title in January when their final drive stalled five yards shy of the Baltimore Ravens endzone. If the 49ers hope to earn that ring in 2013 they will have to do something that hasn’t been accomplished since the early 1990’s. No NFL team has made a return trip to the Super Bowl after losing the championship game the previous season since the Buffalo Bills in 1993.
However, with the 49ers earning the top spot in our preseason rankings we believe they still have enough talent to be considered a favorite to represent the NFC in New York in February. Colin Kaepernick will enter his first full season as the team’s starting quarterback and a strong defensive unit returns most of its key pieces. The 49ers will have to overcome the loss of Michael Crabtree to an Achilles injury and hope rookie Eric Reid can adequately replace Dashon Goldson at safety but no team is perfect and the 49ers have as few flaws as any team in the league.
For a closer look at the 49ers as they begin training camp you can check out our full preview of the team. Do you agree that the 49ers are deserving of our No. 1 ranking? Let us know.