But the year had other plans. Injuries decimated San Francisco's roster, and the 49ers finished 6-10 and last place in the NFC West.
So, just how impactful were those injuries? According to Football Outsiders, the 49ers endured a historic amount of player injuries, the second-most of any NFL team over the last two decades.
To really understand the significance of the 49ers' injuries, Football Outsiders introduced a formula to adjust games lost due to injuries and COVID-19 protocols for each NFL team, and San Francisco led the way. Niners players missed a combined 166.6 games due to injuries. The New England Patriots lost the second most, falling behind the 49ers by nearly 30 games with 134.8.
San Francisco's total adjusted games lost is the most since the 2016 season and the second-most over the past 20 NFL seasons. Only the 2016 Chicago Bears (171.6) had a higher total in that time.