How good could the 49ers be in 2018? Running back Carlos Hyde believes his team could be scary good.
“Minus our record, we’re a really good football team,” Hyde told Cam Inman of the Bay Area News Group after the 49ers’ victory over playoff-bound Jacksonville Sunday night. “Next year we’re going to win the Super Bowl.”
Right now, that’s the fever that’s caught hold around the organization after four straight victories under new starting quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo. Suddenly, the Niners look nothing like the foundering, helpless team that began the season with nine straight losses. Even Hyde – who’s scheduled to be a free agent in the offseason – says he wants to stay with the 49ers. He believes the team is headed to big things under Garoppolo, head coach Kyle Shanahan and general manager John Lynch.
After San Francisco’s victory, the Jags came away impressed. They didn’t see a team that has been in the NFC basement since Jim Harbaugh was pushed out the door.
“I saw a team that is really a strong football team,” Jaguars head coach Doug Marrone told Eric Branch of the San Francisco Chronicle. “Obviously they got after us today. I have a lot of respect for them. They did a good job.”
The 49ers, at 5-10, will try to close out this season with a five-game winning streak when they take on the division-champion Rams in Los Angeles Sunday.
They go in on a roll. As Branch noted, their four-game win streak is the team’s first since 2013. The Niners also have scored 95 points over their most recent three games and have at least 369 yards in four straight games for the first time since 1998.
Garopplo’s presence on offense has carried over to the whole team. The defense and special teams also are playing at a higher level. Said veteran Pro Bowl left tackle Joe Staley: “We felt very confident in what we were able to do as an offense (against Jacksonville). And a lot of that is because of the way No. 10 (Garoppolo) is playing for us.”
Like Hyde, rookie tight end George Kittle is excited for the future based on what’s going on now.
Said Kittle, to Branch, about a possible playoff trip in 2018: “Going into next year, it’s going to be a huge goal for us to reach that milestone.”