The San Francisco 49ers have a 10-3 record and are playoff bound for the first time since 2002. Head coach Jim Harbaugh is a main reason for the 49ers' incredible transformation.
Although the 49ers slipped up and lost this past weekend to Arizona, they are still in the hunt for a first-round bye in the playoffs. The key now for the 49ers is to win out to earn that bye and a subsequent Round 2 home game to be played in San Francisco.
There are several players who have stepped up their level of play from the 2010 season and are integral factors in the success of the 2011 49ers. Let''s take a look at those players.
In order to qualify for our list, the player must have been with the team in 2010 and have shown a marked improvement in 2011. New additions like Carlos Rogers or Aldon Smith have played quality football but are not considered for our study.