The San Francisco 49ers are 8-1 and San Francisco fans are confused.
They are happy, but more than anything they are trying to figure out why the football Gods chose this year to be their year. Even with Jim Harbaugh taking over as head coach, expectations going into the 2011 season were bleak.
A summary of the 2011 offseason: The 49ers could not find a replacement for Alex Smith, a new coach with no previous NFL head coaching experience (Mike Nolan, Mike Singletary), was hired, and both the offensive and defensive coordinators were replaced.
The only difference between this offseason and previous off-seasons was the lockout.
Heading into the 2011 season, NFL fans nationwide assumed that the 49ers would be one of the worst teams in the league’s worst division. Yet after a statement win against the New York Giants, the 49ers find themselves at 8-1, destined for an appearance in the playoffs.
Here are the reasons why Harbaugh is able to do what Nolan and Singletary could not.