SANTA CLARA — These aren’t the same 49ers from just a month or two ago. This team has fundamentally changed.
Jimmy Garoppolo isn’t the same quarterback who threw five consecutive interceptions during a training-camp practice — he has improved. And the defense isn’t the same group that intercepted him five times in a row, either. It has suffered major injuries.
The 49ers still have the NFC’s best record — they’re 11-2. And most analysts still expect the 49ers to at least reach the Super Bowl. Those things haven’t changed.
But the 49ers’ strengths and weaknesses have evolved in the following ways: