San Francisco 49ers: An Autopsy of the 2015 NFL Season

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Nov 8, 2015; Santa Clara, CA, USA; San Francisco 49ers quarterback Blaine Gabbert (2) and quarterback Colin Kaepernick (7) warm up before the game against the Atlanta Falcons at Levi’s Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports

The San Francisco 49ers have endured one of the worst seasons in recent franchise history. 2015 has been a year of turmoil, turnover and underachievement. Niner Noise takes an in-depth look at all that went wrong for the red and gold this season.

2015 will likely go down in history as one of those seasons the San Francisco 49ers and their fan base would like to forget.

Sixteen weeks through the year, the Niners hold a 4-11 record and will clinch last place in the NFC West for the first time since 2005 — another forgettable year in franchise history. Barring some incredulous output in the 49ers’ final game of the 2015 season, San Francisco will likely finish with the NFL’s worst offense and a defense that doesn’t rank much higher.

So what happened? What went wrong for the red and gold after a four-year span of being considered Super Bowl contenders?

Let’s try to answer that.

It’s no mistake the 49ers’ problems stemmed from the top. CEO Jed York, general manager Trent Baalke and a number of other figures within the front office bear a large portion of the blame. Yet the misfortunes suffered by the team can’t fall entirely on them. But this season did happen on their watch.

So let’s try to figure out all that happened with San Francisco over the course of 2015 and find the roots of the problems dating back long before this year of misery ever started.

Next: Disintegration of the Coaching Staff