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

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Dec 20, 2015; Santa Clara, CA, USA; San Francisco 49ers running back Travaris Cadet (32) is tackled by Cincinnati Bengals defensive end Carlos Dunlap (96) and outside linebacker Vontaze Burfict (55) during the third quarter at Levi’s Stadium. The Cincinnati Bengals defeated the San Francisco 49ers 24-14. Mandatory Credit: Ed Szczepanski-USA TODAY Sports

Conclusion: The 49ers Were Doomed by a Series of Factors

Had just one or two of the previously mentioned factors taken place in advance of 2015, the 49ers may have been able to stave off a complete meltdown of the franchise.

Head coach Jim Tomsula could have led this group had the wholesale turnover been avoided, accordingly planned for or anticipated properly. And the team would have been in better shape had general manager Trent Baalke’s 2012 and 2013 draft classes provided a better impact.

If quarterback Colin Kaepernick had risen to the challenge in spite of the flurry of rumors around him and/or running back Carlos Hyde had been able to avoid the injury and pick up right where former RB Frank Gore left off, the entirety of questions surrounding the offense would be much different.

And if CEO Jed York had more of a hands-off approach, the landscape and context of this discussion would be nothing like it is now.

But the 2015 season didn’t have just one or two setbacks. It had a widespread series of misfortunes — some caused and some unpredictable.

A successful team is a product of its parts. These teams combine various elements which, ultimately, result in positives on the field. But unsuccessful teams are also products of their respective pieces. The 49ers are no different.

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Certain components were downgraded, fell apart or were removed altogether. And the combination of all this led to one of the most forgettable seasons in franchise history.

One can only hope those with the power within the organization recognize this and take any and all steps necessary to redress it.

But until such actions take place, the prospects for such remain as just that: hope.

Next: A Year Since Jim Harbaugh: The 49ers' Year of Disaster

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