The 2017 season for the 49ers showed a great deal of promise late in the year. However, fans went through a significant amount of turmoil early on. Including moments that still resulted in the losing season that they ended with.
Of course, going 6-10 is something to revel in for fans of the San Francisco team. Especially after the abysmal 2-14 2016 season that they went through before the Shanahan/Lynch era.
There was plenty to look back on the year as positives, but right now it’s time to get the negatives out of the way first.
Number Four: The Depleted Offense in the Early Part of 2017
When Kyle Shanahan has a capable quarterback, his offense works phenomenally. It showed once Garoppolo was inserted into the lineup late in the season.
Unfortunately, fans were given the play of both Brian Hoyer and CJ Beathard. Combined, they completed 56.4 percent of their passes, averaging roughly 205.9 passing yards together, as well as eight touchdowns and ten interceptions. They both had passer ratings below 75 and QBR’s below 30.
The offenses stagnated so much during the beginning half of the season that they were near the bottom of every major offensive statistic. Luckily, the team improved down the stretch.
Number Three: The Injuries
Injuries are an unfortunate part of the game. No other team in the league knows this better than the leader in players on the injured reserve list than the 49ers.
At the end of the year, the 49ers have 20 players still on IR. Some of these players weren’t serious contributors or didn’t see the beginning of the regular season like Malcolm Smith and Joshua Garnett.
However, some big names were placed on the list that severely hurt their season.
- Arik Armstead: a former first-rounder that has still yet to break out.
- Trent Brown: he’s been called the best right tackle in the league by some of the best pass rushers.
- Pierre Garçon: the team’s leading receiver in both catches and yards before his season-ending injury.
- Jaquiski Tartt: arguably the breakout star of the defense in 2017.
- Jimmie Ward: the versatile defensive back that will continue to be a significant contributor for the future.
Hopefully, these players stay healthy in 2018.
Number Two: The Nine-game Losing Streak
Well, it’s ten if you count the season finale against Seattle in 2016. But right now, we’re focusing on the 2017 season.
Each game hurt a little more than the previous one. The first game was a showing of the early offensive efficiencies that happened with an incapable quarterback. The team was only lucky that Cam Newton was injured during that game or it would have been more than a 20-point drubbing.
The team then went on to lose five games each by three points or less in a row. This would go on to become an NFL record, and people began calling the team “The Best Winless Team in History.” Essentially like calling them the ugly girl with the great personality.
After the record-breaking losing streak, the 49ers went on to get blown out by the Cowboys and Eagles, respectively.
These games did come with high points like the Thursday Night Game against the Rams that showed what the offense could do.
However, much of this came with low points. Including the final part of this list.
Number One: NaVorro Bowman’s Release
It was only a matter of time, but fans didn’t expect it to happen so soon.
It’s uncertain what would’ve happened if Bowman hadn’t been given that injury in the 2014 NFC Championship Game. It’s something that’s restricted him from showing his full potential as one of the game’s best. Even worse, the season-ending injury that Bowman suffered in 2016 is also something that will keep him from the player he used to be or could have been.
The writing was on the wall with the selection of Reuben Foster in the first round. Once the trade rumors came around, it was just a matter of when it would happen.
He was a celebrated fan favorite of the organization, and it was a disheartening situation to see play out. Fans of the 49ers only hope for the best for the All-Pro linebacker and all that he will accomplish for the rest of his career.