Sports Spin’s 32 Teams in 32 Days: San Francisco 49ers
Much to the surprise of EVERYONE except first year head coach Jim Harbaugh, the 2011 San Francisco 49ers were a Kyle Williams muffed punt away from representing the NFC in the Super Bowl.
The expectations for 2012 are as high as they have been since the days of Young and Rice. The 49ers have all eleven starters from last season back on defense. They upgraded the offense with the additions of Randy Moss, Mario Manningham, and Brandon Jacobs.
Despite a strong performance in the 2011 playoffs, the jury is still largely out on eighth year quarterback Alex Smith. Smith has gone from a bust to serviceable, back to a bust, and now he's a guy trying to lead a talented young team to a Super Bowl.