Power ranking each 49ers team from the decade, 2010 through 2019

Running back Frank Gore #21 of the San Francisco 49ers runs in front of tackle Joe Staley #74 (Photo by Brian Bahr/Getty Images)
Running back Frank Gore #21 of the San Francisco 49ers runs in front of tackle Joe Staley #74 (Photo by Brian Bahr/Getty Images) /
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49ers, Colin Kaepernick
Eric Reid #35, Colin Kaepernick #7 and Eli Harold #58 of the San Francisco 49ers /

No. 10: 2016 season amid a whirlwind of distractions

2016 was a very popular year for the 49ers, and not in a good way. The 70th season in franchise history is one many would like to forget. They were coming off a pretty bad 2015, but nothing could prepare anyone, especially one-and-done head coach Chip Kelly, for what was to come that year.

It started in the preseason. Aug. 16 to be exact. It was the first time Colin Kaepernick was observed not standing for the American national anthem. Nobody understood what he was trying to do at the time, but it quickly turned into a topic people all over the world were chatting about.

Here begs the question: If Kaepernick protested and the 49ers finished the season with a more respectable record, would his actions be as highly published? Would he still be in the NFL?

We will never truly know.

Kaepernick, to be completely fair, had a pretty decent season. He threw for 2,241 yards, 16 touchdowns and only four interceptions. Unfortunately, his record was a dismal 1-10. His only win in 2016 was in Week 16 against the Los Angeles Rams.

Kaepernick’s play the year prior led to the promotion of backup quarterback Blaine Gabbert. In five starts with the 49ers in 2016, Gabbert gathered a 1-4 record with five touchdowns, six interceptions and only 925 yards passing. Gabbert’s only win of the 2016 campaign also came against the Rams, a 28-0 victory in Week 1.

It was offensive coordinator Curtis Modkins first and only season in San Francisco. He led the 49ers to the bottom of the league in most offensive statistics. His only shining light was the running game. It obviously wasn’t enough for Modkins to keep his job.

As fans, we’ll never truly understand what goes on in the locker room when something like kneeling during the anthem is done. How did it impact the players among themselves, each other and with management?

It might have been an excuse for the 49ers defensive coordinator Jim O’Neil, whose defense gave up 55 total touchdowns on the season. They gave up 480 points in 16 games. That’s 30 points per game. Both statistics sat last in the NFL. A good chunk of the stars on the 2019 49ers defense were on this team, including cornerback Jimmie Ward, free safety Jaquiski Tartt and defensive tackle DeForest Buckner.

It’s safe to say the 2016 is one many within the organization want to forget. It was certainly the worst year in the decade, but could it be the worst year in team history?

It’s definitely in the top three, that’s for sure.