The San Francisco 49ers took a tumble down the mountain compared to last season. Injuries played a major toll in last year’s NFC Champions missing out on the postseason entirely in 2020-21. Let’s rehash where things went wrong for the 49ers this season.
San Francisco 49ers Stay Competitive Early Despite Injuries
The season started out like normal for last season’s NFC Champions, as they hosted the Arizona Cardinals. The 49ers led for the majority of the game, but the Cardinals would get the last laugh as a late Kenyan Drake touchdown sent San Fran to 0-1. They then spent back-to-back weeks in New Jersey as the Jets and Giants hosted them. The 49ers dominated the Jets 31-13, but lost a lot of their starters in the process. They actually filed a grievance so that they didn’t have to play at MetLife Stadium the next week, but it was denied. That wouldn’t matter in the end as the 49ers beat the Giants 36-9 to give them two wins in MetLife Stadium.
The Philadelphia Eagles came to town in Week 4 for a Sunday Night game. Two of the most injured teams in the NFL playing a prime time game. How lovely. It was a close game until backup QB Nick Mullens threw a pick-six, propelling the Eagles to a 25-20 win. The Miami Dolphins came into Santa Clara the following Sunday and dominated the 49ers. Jimmy Garoppolo was benched for CJ Beathard during the game. San Francisco would get the ship righted again with a win against the Los Angeles Rams the next week to climb back to a .500 record. A dominant win over the New England Patriots on the road would give San Francisco a 4-3 record and keep them in contention in the crowded NFC West.
San Francisco 49ers Postseason Hopes Fade Against NFC’s Top Teams
Those hopes of contending would fade with a loss to Seattle the next week. Their Thursday night game against Green Bay caught major controversy on the COVID-19 front. Despite the 49ers having a ton of positives, the NFL refused to reschedule. The game not being rescheduled hurt the 49ers as they were without their top two RBs and a lot of their top WRs on top of George Kittle being out with an injury. The Packers would come out and get the win 34-17.
The 49ers then had to go to New Orleans to play the Saints. They would come out and score 10 points before the Saints could get on the board. Unfortunately, the Saints closed the game on a 27-3 run to win 27-13. The loss put the 49ers’ record at 4-6 heading into their bye week.
Three-Game Losing Streak Officially Eliminates 49ers from Playoff Contention
The week following the bye they would travel to LA to take on the Rams again. The second verse would be the same as the first as the 49ers would win 23-20 to sweep the season series. At 5-6, San Francisco incredibly still had an outside chance at the playoffs. Would they build on their chances?
The Monday Night game against the Buffalo Bills suggested otherwise. The Bills came into the 49ers’ makeshift home in Glendale, AZ, and out on a show. Josh Allen showed just how good he is with 375 yards and 4 touchdowns to power the Bills to a 34-24 win. The Washington No Names would then make the cross country trip to play the 49ers. The 49ers didn’t look bad in this game, but two mistakes led to two Washington defensive touchdowns. Those would be Washington’s only touchdowns scored, but it would be enough to get the victory 23-15.
The 49ers’ game against Dallas was flexed out of the SNF slot, a clear indication that the two teams had failed to meet expectations. The Cowboys pulled out a shootout victory to officially eliminate San Francisco from playoff contention.
49ers Close Season Strong
The 49ers would get their rematch with the Cardinals in a special Saturday game. San Francisco may have found their running back for the future in Jeff Wilson Jr. His 183 rushing yards helped the 49ers beat Arizona 20-12, dealing a major blow to their division rival’s playoff hopes in the process. The 49ers’ season finale came against the Seahawks. San Francisco would take a 10-point lead in the fourth quarter, but blew it by allowing 3 straight touchdowns and lost 26-23.
49ers Have Interesting Offseason Ahead
The 49ers will have some things to discuss as far as the roster goes for this offseason. There were rumors that Jimmy Garapollo would be let go. Those rumors have died down a bit, but keep an eye out for that as the 49ers have the 12th pick in the draft.