Top five things 49ers fans are ecited about for 2021 NFL season

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Top five things 49ers fans are excited about this season originally appeared on NBC Sports Bayarea

The Diamond Anniversary season, commemorating 75 years of 49ers football, kicks off in just under 75 days.

While September 12 seems far away, the first game of the 2021 NFL season will be here before you know it. The 49ers are excited to see Levi’s Stadium at full capacity for the first time since the NFC Championship Game of the 2019 season and the Faithful are ready. 

When I asked on social media what fans are looking forward to the most, there were some pretty clear themes. Here are the top five topics that dominated the responses.

O-Line domination

It's no mystery that a talented offensive line is the key to unlocking Kyle Shanahan’s offense. The 49ers made several moves to improve the O-line during the offseason and now fans wait with bated breath to see what they will be capable of on the field. 

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Trent Williams arguably is the top left tackle in the game, and the 49ers made sure to keep him in the building, signing him to the biggest contract for a left tackle in NFL history. The Niners also added veteran center Alex Mack, who will bring leadership and experience to the group. 

The 49ers drafted Aaron Banks and Jaylon Moore to join Mike McGlinchey and Laken Tomlinson, adding depth that they so desperately needed in 2020. If this group can find their rhythm early, it will give Raheem Mostert and his crew the best opportunity to run roughshod over the competition this fall. 

The Treys 

The 49ers shocked most of the NFL world when they drafted Trey Lance with the No. 3 overall pick in the 2021 NFL Draft. They added depth to the backfield in the third round when they selected running back Trey Sermon, too.

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While Lance might have to wait a little while for his debut, Sermon likely will contribute when the team faces Detroit in Week 1. With Jeff Wilson out recovering from meniscus surgery for four to six months, Sermon and fellow rookie Elijah Mitchell could end up seeing the field early and often. 

Nick Bosa’s return

The 2019 Defensive Rookie of the Year was greatly missed on the field after suffering an ACL injury in Week 2 last year. What the pass rusher adds to the defensive line with his presence alone is remarkable. 

Offenses cannot double team every member of the defensive line. Bosa consistently requiring two players to be stopped opens up defensive linemen Arik Armstead and Javon Kinlaw on the inside to disrupt opposing quarterbacks.

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If Bosa can perform similar to his rookie season, the 49ers' defense will be a force to be reckoned with. His nine sacks, 47 tackles, 16 for a loss, 25 quarterback hits, one interception and a forced fumble made the 2019 defense one of the best in the league. 

Full capacity at Levi’s Stadium

When there was a possibility that the entire 2020 NFL season could be cancelled due to COVID-19, we were all thankful to simply see football remotely. Now that restrictions have been lifted and stadiums will be allowed to operate at full capacity, players and fans alike are overjoyed. 

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There is no doubt that teams missed the home-field advantage that a full stadium provides, and fans missed being close to the action. The 49ers will be adding new perks for those attending games in person at Levi’s stadium for their 75th season in the league, and who isn’t excited for road trips? 

A healthy roster 

The headlines that dominated the 49ers 2020 season were nearly entirely injury related. The 49ers never recovered from the early devastation it experienced at MetLife Stadium in Weeks 2 and 3. 

RELATED: Why Garafolo believes 49ers can win NFC West with Lance

What had started out as a “Revenge Tour” by both players and fans, seemed to become simply a game of survival. There were still some success stories that arose from Santa Clara, including Jason Verrett, who was able to play a full season for the first time in several years, and Trent Williams, who made his return after more than a season away from the game. 

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As a result of a stifled salary cap, the 49ers were able to again bring back more players than would typically be possible. If they can keep the injury bug at bay, the odds that they can play deep into the playoffs are in their favor.

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