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Jerry Rice: 49ers have ‘great chance of winning the Super Bowl’

The San Francisco 49ers are enjoying a great start to their 2019 campaign courtesy of two convincing victories, and the 2-0 start has inspired 49ers icon Jerry Rice to make a pretty bold claim about this season’s squad.

During an interview this week on 95.7 The Game, Rice proclaimed that the 49ers are fielding more than just a competitive team. In fact, Rice believes San Francisco could be poised for a deep run in the postseason.

“I don’t want to jump the gun, but I’m starting to feel it a little bit,” Rice said, per Gary Peterson of the Mercury News. “These guys are looking really, really like contenders.”

Rice did not limit himself to hyping the Niners as merely contenders. Instead, the Hall of Famer took it one step further.

“… they just have to focus on football,” Rice added. “If they do that, man, I feel like they have a great chance of winning the Super Bowl.”

Rice may want to pump the brakes a bit on touting the 49ers as Super Bowl contenders. After all, the team’s two wins have come against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in Week 1 and Cincinnati Bengals in Week 2. Victories against those caliber of teams, albeit both on the road, hardly makes the 49ers world beaters.

Rice reserved his highest praise for Jimmy Garoppolo, and he credited head coach Kyle Shanahan’s offensive creativity for putting the quarterback in positions to succeed.

The Shanahan-Garoppolo partnership obviously got off to a rough start in the duo’s first full season together in 2018 when the quarterback went down in Week 3 with a torn ACL. 2019. This season, both the offense and defense look much improved after a 6-10 campaign last season.

All that said, Rice arguably is overdoing it a bit here, although that can be credited to a bit of bias and understandable loyalty to the 49ers organization on his part.

San Francisco without question has much more to prove before the team is deservedly touted as contenders, and the tests will get tougher over the next three weeks with the Steelers, Browns and division-rival Rams up next on the schedule.