This year is a referendum on both Kyle Shanahan and Jimmy Garoppolo. We are now entering the third year of Shanahan’s tenure with the San Francisco 49ers, and the early returns have not been great. While no one can be blamed for Garoppolo suffering a season-ending knee injury last year, the 49ers’ continued struggles in the post-Jim Harbaugh era have led to some muttering about whether either man is the right one for the job. Without significant improvement in 2019, there might be a major shake-up in the Bay Area this offseason.
Will the San Francisco 49ers Make the Playoffs in 2019?
The 49ers are not in an incredibly difficult division, and that will help their playoff chances. While the Los Angeles Rams are probably a playoff team, the Arizona Cardinals posted the worst record in the league last season and the Seattle Seahawks continue to slowly decline.
Breaking Down the 49ers Offense
Garoppolo only played in three games before suffering a torn ACL last year. However, while he was very hyped coming into the 2018 campaign, analysts are significantly more bearish on his potential this year.
The 49ers quarterback was not sharp in early season tilts against Minnesota and Detroit, and the offense did not break 350 total yards in either game. Additionally, his sharp performance at the tail end of 2017 has been called into question as more tape junkies have noted that defenses lined up in very vanilla looks against Garoppolo.
The most important thing this season is cutting down turnovers. San Francisco committed multiple turnovers in 9 games, and they turned the ball over at least four times in 4 different games.
There are chemistry concerns between Garoppolo and his receivers coming into the season. Marquise Goodwin is the only wide receiver that Jimmy G has experience throwing to for more than a couple games, so the quarterback will need to develop rhythm with his other targets. Dante Pettis is entering his second season in the league, and San Francisco drafted Deebo Samuel and Jalen Hurd on the second day of the NFL Draft.
Last season, the running game wasn’t good, and it doesn’t look like it will be much better this year. While Tevin Coleman is an excellent pass catcher out of the backfield, he isn’t much of a runner, and Matt Breida isn’t a big play threat.
Breaking Down the 49ers Defense
San Francisco is hoping that Nick Bosa can make a significant impact as a rookie. Bosa was the second overall pick in this year’s draft, and the 49ers are crossing their fingers that he will pan out. This is the fourth time in five seasons that San Francisco has drafted a defensive lineman in the first round, and of the previous three first round picks (Solomon Thomas, DeForest Buckner, and Arik Armstead) only Buckner has worked out.
Dee Ford was also signed from Kansas City to help out. Ford commanded a massive contract from San Francisco, so if the 49ers’ front doesn’t improve by leaps and bounds, their moves will be considered a big disappointment.
Putting so many resources into the front four has meant that the back seven is a concern. Fred Warner emerged as a solid Mike linebacker last season, and Kwon Alexander was added from Tampa Bay to make the linebacking corps respectable. The secondary didn’t get any help though as San Francisco is essentially running it back with a group of young players and veteran Richard Sherman. If this group is going to take a step forward, safety Jaquiski Tartt will be one of the reasons.
There’s a route for San Francisco to make the postseason, but I don’t see it happening. The NFC is so deep this year that I believe some 9-7 teams will be left out, and the 49ers just don’t have the talent to get to 10 wins.
BookMaker offers play-by-play betting odds for live sporting events every day! The user-friendly wagering interface on your smartphone provides an easy way to place bets on the go. Mobile betting lines are updated by the minute, so click here to start gambling on thrilling live action at BookMaker Sportsbook!