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Detroit Lions running back D’Andre Swift (6) looks to catch a contested pass during practice on August 18.

SANTA CLARA, Calif. — The idea a year ago that the San Francisco 49ers would win the NFC West following a three-year stretch of winning just 12 games combined seemed far-fetched.

Maybe it shouldn’t have considering how often teams go from also-rans to division champs in the span of a year in the modern NFL.

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