SANTA CLARA, Calif. -- The Oakland Raiders are planning a trip to Las Vegas.
Presumably, just like seemingly everybody else, they are going there to place a bet on the San Francisco 49ers.
The 49ers, who began the 2017 season 0-9 and an even-money favorite to be the first team in NFL history to relegate itself to Vince McMahon's next endeavor, suddenly are one of the hottest teams in the league.
He drove the 49ers 86 yards to a winning field goal in his first start. Joe Montana totaled 96 yards in his first season.
And here's the best comparison of all: Under Garoppolo, the 49ers averaged 42.1 yards per drive last season. Before Garoppolo, the 49ers were best known for averaging 43.8 yards per punt.
How do you improve upon perfection? The 49ers have spent the past seven months contemplating the seemingly impossible.
They have upgraded their offensive line with a free-agent signing (center Weston Richburg) and two first-round picks -- one returning from an injury (Joshua Garnett), one arriving fresh off the Notre Dame campus (Mike McGlinchey).
And, significantly, they have retained a safety net in case, like most things in Vegas, things don't go according to plan. They have $17 million in salary-cap reserves -- third-most in the NFL -- to plug holes and/or get a head start on 2019 free agency.
The run to the riches begins whenever Garoppolo chooses to show up for training camp this month. The rest of the guys are expected July 25.