Cary Edmondson-USA TODAY Sports
The 49ers are hitting their stride at precisely the right moment.
It may be an overused statement, but getting hot at the right time can be the difference between a Super Bowl champion and playoff elimination.
There have been plenty of NFL teams this season that have fallen to the latter—look no further than the Detroit Lions as an example.
In contrast, the 49ers are a team that is gelling in the right way and at the right time.
For the most part, this team is fully healthy. It is also deep. That will play a vital factor.
More importantly however, San Francisco is looking more like the team that most envisioned they would be at the start of the 2013 season.
As previously stated by Tim Kawakami, the most important factor in winning a Super Bowl is not the seeding or having home-field advantage, it is getting into the postseason on a hot streak and carrying that trend into the last game of the season.
Frank Gore commented by this via Kawakami:
I think it's all timing. I think we're hitting the right spot at the right time. Crab [is] getting better. Vernon, Anquan [is] doing a great job. Me, O-line, Kap running and throwing. We just want to get in the tournament. When you look at it, the last two years a [team in the Wild-Card Round] won the Super Bowl. We just want to get in there and do what we do.
For the 49ers, the timing could not be any better.
In addition to health and depth, getting all of their units—offense, defense and special teams—playing at high levels means that nobody will want to face them in the postseason.
Tyson Langland of Bleacher Report describes this further here.
All in all, it’s apparent San Francisco has become one of the most well-balanced teams in the league—at just the right time. Teams often peak early on in the season and level out, but that hasn’t been the case for the 49ers. They did the opposite. They battled through key injuries at various positions and found a way to put their best foot forward down the home stretch.
That statement falls in line with what almost every NFL championship team does late in the season. San Francisco is following that same blueprint.
There is plenty of football left to be played and San Francisco's prospects for the postseason are not yet guaranteed. As previously noted, nothing in the NFL is.
Yet if a team would like to have its way, one could argue little against the scenario the 49ers currently find themselves in.
The situation is there for the 49ers to enter the playoffs—possibly as a division winner or likely as a Wild Card. San Francisco could probably care less where they get in. They just want to be there.
Once they are in the playoffs, and the previously listed reasons come to forefront, the 49ers are a team that has a good a shot as any to claim their sixth Super Bowl title.
The opportunity is there. The 49ers just need to seize it.
All statistics, records and accolades courtesy of Pro-Football-Reference.com unless otherwise indicated.
Peter Panacy is a featured columnist for Bleacher Report, covering the San Francisco 49ers. Follow him @PeterMcShots on Twitter.