Five of the 12 teams that made it to the postseason in 2019 didn’t make a return trip in 2020, including the San Francisco 49ers. ESPN’s Bill Barnwell projects that to change next season as he made his predictions on teams poised to make the postseason in 2021. Barnwell based his decisions how each team performed in 2020 and what 16 games on their schedule will look like in 2021 to help make educated guesses about next season’s playoff field.
“The 49ers lost defensive coordinator Robert Saleh to the Jets, but they’re also going to be healthier in 2021 than they were in 2020, and that’s going to mean they have more talent on the field. As good as Saleh has been over the past two years, every team in the league would prefer 16 games of pass-rusher Nick Bosa to a full season from a defensive coordinator. The 49ers should look more like their 2019 selves in 2021, and that should get them back atop the NFC West.”