There was one problem, though: They didn't have their franchise quarterback.
"Things have a way of working out," Garoppolo said Wednesday. "I always told myself it was a blessing in disguise, the ACL.
"We got (Nick) Bosa out of it. That's a pretty good trade-off, I guess. But yeah, things have a way of working out I guess. This ride is crazy."
Bosa was one of the final pieces (rookie receiver Deebo Samuel being another) to the San Francisco turnaround masterpiece orchestrated by general manager John Lynch and coach Kyle Shanahan. Instead of staring at double-digit losses, the Niners celebrated double-digit victories, an NFC West title and the No. 1 seed in the playoffs in 2019.
"It definitely helped," Shanahan said. "I mean, everything happens for a reason, and you need to get good players in, some difference-makers, and Bosa has definitely been a difference-maker. I'm very glad we have him. I don't wish 4-12 on anybody, but after going through it, it's nice what it brought us."