The 2018 Niners were expected to be in the process of achieving success after a poor 2017 season. Optimism was cut short, as the Lord and Savior,' Jimmy Garoppolo joined the team. To the dismay of the team, Jimmy G was injured early in the 2018 season. Thus, the Niners resorted to Nick Mullins.

By the end of that year, the Red and Gold finished with a 4-12 record. That being said, 2019 looked like it was going to being an okay season. Right off the bat, we saw a team that did not closely resemble the four years of disappointment. For nine weeks straight, they stood tall over the NFC and as one of the elites in the league.

They hit speed bumps in loses to the Seahawks and Ravens. Those games are key for certain reasons.

Niners’ biggest obstacles

Weeks 9 and 13 proved to be the most difficult, as they faced the Seahawks and Ravens. It’s quite ironic that these teams handed the Niners their only losses this season (thus far). The Ravens and Niners faced each other in Super Bowl 47, in which we saw the Ravens walk out as champions. Things were looking great the following year, as the Niners made it back to the NFC Championship game against the Seahawks. The highly contested battle ended in the final seconds. Then, quarterback, Colin Kaepernick threw a potential game-winning pass. Seahawks cornerback (now 49er) Richard Sherman tipped the ball for a Malcolm Smith interception.

On two separate occasions, these two teams stopped the Niners from achieving success. With these losses, is it a foreshadowing of things to come?

To end the regular season, Seattle and San Francisco will do battle one more time, before heading into the postseason. Currently, all paths point towards an NFC Championship appearance.

Against who? The Seahawks. On paper, the favorites are Seattle. Even if the Niners get through, it’s highly possible that they will face the Ravens.

Ravens’ dominance

Tom Brady’s Patriots are the defending champions. To be honest, they are not the same team as last year. In Week 9 (a bit of a coincidence), the Ravens dismantled the champions.

Based on what we see right now, the Ravens will meet in the AFC Championship game. Without a doubt, they can repeat what they did in Week 9

With the exception of the Chiefs and Browns (out of all teams), Baltimore had no problem taking down their opponents. That matchup against San Francisco turned out to be a tough one. Everything came down a field goal for a Ravens victory. Against all teams, Lamar Jackson has been shredding defenses, according to ESPN. Whether if he’s throwing the ball or running it himself, it has been all success. Mark Ingram (running back) and Mark Andrews (tight end) simply add more firepower. When their opponents focus too heavily on Jackson, Ingram and Andrews are left unguarded to cause damage.

A Super Bowl 47 rematch

There’s no doubt that Jimmy G is a great QB, in his own right. As a former Patriot (and starter) he clearly learned a lot from Brady. You can see it in how he moves in the pocket and finds receivers. The Ravens' defense will have their hands full with the likes of Emmanuel Sanders, Deebo Samuel, and especially George Kittle. Let us not forget their rejuvenated defense. Nick Bosa, Solomon Thomas, and DeForest Buckner have not shown any mercy. They are more than capable of keeping Jackson under pressure and forcing mistakes.

Currently, the biggest monsters these teams have slain are the Packers and Patriots. This has boosted their stock as contenders for their respective conference championships. As of now, we can still see a Ravens victory, come February.