Four seasons ago, we were making a goalline stand in the Georgia Dome to secure our place in the Super Bowl, crushing the Atlanta Falcons’ dreams and securing the NFC Championship. Now 49ers supporters can only dream of those days…After being blown out by Matt Ryan and company, with the organisation in dire need of an overhaul in order to get a talented roster back on the field. "San Francisco 49ers" (CC BY-SA 2.0) by Mike Morbeck
The hammering at the hands of the NFC South outfit was a timely reminder of how far we have fallen since the departure of Jim Harbaugh, and all but confirming the end of Trent Baalke’s tenure as general manager, while the future of Chip Kelly remains in the balance following our 12th defeat on the bounce.
Frustratingly as we continue to struggle, our bitter rivals the Seattle Seahawks are prepared to make another charge for the Vince Lombardi trophy being backed in the latest bet365 NFL betting odds at 11/2 to win the Super Bowl for the second time in four years. Given that we were extremely close to knocking off Pete Carroll’s men in the NFC title game in the 2013 season, it’s sickening to see them close out the division crown with relative ease and host another post-season contest on home soil.
The decline began with the friction between Harbaugh and the front office – a duel which allowed Baalke to remain and sent the 57-year-old on his way to Michigan. His departure culminated in the massive decline in the play of Colin Kaepernick, while the defense lost a plethora of talent with the retirements of Justin Smith and Patrick Willis along with Chris Borland. Aldon Smith’s off-the-field indiscretions finally put paid to his time in the Bay Area.
Add NaVorro Bowman’s serious knee injury into the mix and the cupboard was more or less bare for Jim Tomsula to oversee a 5-11 campaign, while the regression has been even worse this time around under Kelly, with the possibility of one-win term for the first time in the history of the franchise. Although we’ve had problems on the roster that record is inexcusable and has rightfully put Kelly under pressure. "Levi’s Stadium, Santa Clara, CA" (CC BY 2.0) by jimg944
There are not many coaches around that could oversee a drastic improvement, with New England Patriots offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels at the top of reported lists, but even he has his own scars due to his ill fated tenure at the Denver Broncos. Acquiring a solid head coach to lead the club forward is just one of the steps needed to reverse our fortunes, even without adding a quarterback to the roster as veterans Joe Staley and Ahmad Brooks are entering the twilight of their careers.
The quarterback class of the 2017 Draft does not look as strong as previous seasons with Notre Dame’s Deshone Kizer and North Carolina’s Mitch Trubisky considered raw prospects, but a replacement for Colin Kaepernick is a necessity given his form since Harbaugh's exit. A trade for Tony Romo could also be in play and provide valuable time for the organisation to hone in on a desired prospect or even allow a young quarterback to bed into the system.
The ownership need to take decisive action at the end of the campaign moving forward without Kelly, who did show pedigree during his time with the Philadelphia Eagles, possibly to line up another coach like McDaniels or Detroit Lions defensive coordinator Teryl Austin. Jed York needs to make the right choice come January as another season of failure will not sit well in the fanbase.