The San Francisco 49ers are on the cusp of being a team for life.
The 49ers fans have been there before.
They’ll be there again.
For the fans, this means two things.
First, they’ll see the team for the first time since winning Super Bowl XXIX in January 2017, when a devastating 49ers’ defeat to the New York Giants left San Francisco without a winning season.
Second, they’re getting to see a team that they can root for in their own backyard for the second time in four years.
The first time was in 2009 when the 49ers went 1-10 in the postseason and lost to the Kansas City Chiefs in the divisional round of the Super Bowl.
The second time was during the 2016 season when they won the NFC West and the first-ever NFC Championship Game.
The team has won three division titles since then, but that doesn’t mean the fans should expect the same success again this year.
The 49ers finished the regular season 6-10, missing the playoffs for the fifth straight season.
They were one of the league’s worst teams last year and went 0-10 this year and are just 1-6 on the season.
The Niners won’t be the same team for a long time.
The team’s offensive line, which has been the worst in the NFL, was a huge part of the problem.
The front seven was the worst unit in the league and had five starters miss time with injuries.
That led to the team finishing last in rushing defense and allowing the fourth-most points per game.
The defensive line had the worst sack rate in the game.
It also gave up the most sacks in the entire league.
The defense was so bad it led the league in interceptions, allowing a whopping 15 interceptions in the final nine games of the season, which was second-most in the NFC.
The defense was also porous at the position.
Safety Quinton Dial was suspended for the entire season after violating the NFL’s substance abuse policy, linebacker Anthony Barr missed a total of five games and linebacker NaVorro Bowman missed six games with a broken hand.
Even at his worst, Barr still was a force in the middle of the defense.
And Bowman is an elite player, and the Niners need him to be.
The problem is that, as much as it’s important to be a part of a championship team, it’s also important to show the fans how to root for the team.
Niners fans are in a unique position, since they have been to four NFC Championship Games and have the most playoff wins of any NFL team.
The only way the 49er’s fans will be rooting for them is if they can win.
They just need to do it with their feet and not their fists.