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Jim Harbaugh led a great 49er turnaround in 2011.
After a nine-year absence, the San Francisco 49ers made a triumphant return to the NFL playoffs. With a rookie head coach and a much-maligned quarterback, the 49ers nearly made it to the Super Bowl.
If not for special teams mistakes, they would have played the New England Patriots in Super Bowl XLVI.
Though the offense struggled, quarterback Alex Smith was efficient and didn't make mistakes at critical times.
The defense was a beast. They were fourth in total defense. The 49ers forced 38 turnovers, while only losing the ball 10 times. The plus-28 differential was best in the NFL.
With a full offseason to work with this year, they should be even better.