Originally posted on Helmet2Helmet  |  Last updated 6/7/12

After coming heartbreakingly close to reaching the Big Game, Vernon Davis believes the Niners will pick up right where they left off -- and then some.

In a Q&A session with the San Jose Mercury News on Tuesday, the All-Pro tight end said he "strongly" feels San Fran will reach the Super Bowl in 2012.

"I strongly believe we should be the Super Bowl favorites," Davis said. "But I can't talk about it because it's all about work. It starts here at practice. I don't want to talk about it and brag and say this and that, because it's not about that. It's about working first. And in the end, you will see where you'll be."

As with any painful experience, the team's 20-17 NFC Conference Championship loss to the eventual world champion Giants only serves as extra motivation for Davis and his teammates.

"It broke my heart that we didn't get it. It really broke my heart," Davis said. "This team is ready. We smelled it, so we know what it's like. There's nothing like it. I've never experienced anything like that in my life."

It's been a particularly difficult offseason for Davis, whose brother, Michael, was recently charged with first-degree murder in the gruesome slaying of a 64-year-old Colorado man.

No matter how taxing, however, Davis is the consummate professional and knows he can't let any outside distractions enter his mind if he is to meet his goal.

"But when it comes to football, those things have to be on hold. I have somebody I trust and believe that will make sure everything goes right with those things," Davis said. "Because when I come to work, I don’t need anything to worry about but how to get better here on the field."

"I don’t let anything worry me. I know what my mission is. And I’ve got to keep that on my mind."

Although they certainly have the pieces in place to make another postseason run, there is so much parity in the NFL each season, making it hard to determine on a consistent basis which team is championship quality. Frankly, the 13-3 Niners overachieved in 2011, and it's going to be a challenge for coach Jim Harbaugh to get the same results out of his players for a second year in a row.

It wouldn't be surprising to see the 49ers in New Orleans in February, nor would it if they came crashing back down to Earth.

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