The San Francisco 49ers, once the great powerhouse that produced five Super Bowl wins, are now experiencing a major decline. In the 80s and early 90s, the 49ers were a shining example of a legendary team, with football greats such as Joe Montana, Jerry Rice and Steve Young. In the early 2000s, the 49ers were a shadow of their former selves. They didn’t win games like they used to do, and the team fell out of the public eye.
In 2011, the 49ers were gifted with new head coach Jim Harbaugh. Harbaugh was a former NFL player and head coach of the Stanford Cardinals. It’s well known that Harbaugh brought the 49ers into a new golden age, with back to back wins in the NFC championship and even a super bowl appearance in 2012. But in 2014, after a disappointing season where the 9ers went 8-8, head coach Harbaugh left the NFL and went back to his college roots and is now the head coach for the University of Michigan. This was just the beginning of their shortcomings. During the offseason, the 49ers franchise lost a number of key players, such as: Frank Gore, Aldon Smith, Patrick Willis, Justin Smith and Andy Lee.
Still, many people had hope for the 49ers, despite the loss of 20 players. If the first regular season game was any indication, the 49er’s season would not be a total disaster. However, with the next 4 games, that spark of hope was lost, and 49ers just could not get it together on offense or defense. On October 18th, the 49ers losing streak ended with a 25-20 win over the Baltimore Ravens. Its was an amazing game, with a couple of big plays. However, that win would not have been possible without the defense that was able to hold the Ravens and intercept the ball twice. This was just the win that the 49ers needed to get the ball rolling and start winning games. Sadly, on October 22nd, the 49ers suffered a disappointing 20-3 loss to the Seattle Seahawks. Quarterback Colin Kaepernick only had 13 completions that day, for a total of 124 yards. On top of that, the Seahawks defense subdued 49ers offense and sacked Colin Kaepernick six times. Overall, the team didn’t play the way they should have.
The loss to the Seahawks put the 49ers in last place in the NFC West, and the future of the 2015 season is getting bleaker and bleaker. Now the question remains: who is to blame for this terrible season? Some blame the overpaid quarterback Kaepernick, and others blame the owner of the 49ers, Jed York. After all, he was the one that made the decision to get rid of Jim Harbaugh in the first place. Some just say that the loss of so many players just put a dent in the success of the team. The truth is that the blame shouldn’t be placed on one single source, but a combination of all sources. The loss of so many players was a drastic change, but having an inexperienced head coach also hasn’t done anything to improve the 49er’s situation. The third piece of the puzzle is having an unreliable quarterback in Colin Kaepernick. Some days, he is able to make big plays and others, he is barely completing half of his throws.The 2015 season will be a rebuilding year and, hopefully, the 49ers will come back stronger than ever next year. All 49er fans can do now is remain faithful.