Could 2018 be the State of California’s Best NFL Season Ever?
The Rams, Chargers, Raiders and 49ers all looked poised for success.
The last time a team from the Golden State won the Super Bowl, it was when the San Francisco 49ers knocked off, coincidentally, the San Diego Chargers 49-26 on January 29, 1995.
While it’s unlikely that new quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo will be able to accomplish the same feat with this year’s 49ers squad, there’s reason for optimism that San Francisco, or another team from California, has a shot of at least making the big game this year. That’s because expectations for all four California NFL teams, the 49ers, the now-Los Angeles Chargers, Los Angeles Rams, and Oakland Raiders, are higher than they have been in decades.
Consider: Last year, the Rams made the playoffs and they have only gotten better thanks to a flurry of offseason additions. They’re now a Super Bowl favorite. The Chargers missed the playoffs but won nine of their last 12 games and are still playing in the vulnerable AFC West.
Projections for the Raiders aren’t as high, but they are two years removed from a 12-win season and now have Jon Gruden back in the fold as head coach again. Similarly, the 49ers may not be a playoff team, but Garoppolo gives them a franchise quarterback (hopefully) that should at least make things interesting in San Francisco.
“A lot of winning is expected in California this year,” according to SI. “In fact, not since the early ’80s, when Joe Montana’s 49ers and Al Davis’s Raiders were claiming Super Bowls, and Eric Dickerson’s Rams and Dan Fouts’s Chargers were pushing for playoff spots, has the state’s NFL landscape looked so collectively promising.”
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