The 49ers’ 2022 season has turned into a pretty special one, but that doesn’t mean Kyle Shanahan and Co. have wholly avoided disappointments.
For the first time in Kyle Shanahan’s head-coaching career, he’ll be taking a team to the postseason in back-to-back years.
This, after the San Francisco 49ers made it all the way to the NFC Championship game a season ago and then backed it up with an NFC West championship after defeating the Seattle Seahawks in Week 15.
Generally speaking, the Niners’ 2022 campaign has been a successful one. Sure, the opening weeks were a bit frustrating and marred with offensive underachievement, defensive inconsistency and losses that shouldn’t have been.
However, particularly after the midseason trade for All-Pro running back Christian McCaffrey, Shanahan has watched his team take off in the right direction.
Perhaps to the point of being the most vaunted squad in the conference.
All that said, though, there have been some major disappointments along the way. While it helps to be positive, let’s take a look at those disappointing parts of San Francisco’s 2022 campaign and see where things could have been better.
Disappointment No. 1: 49ers lose Trey Lance to season-ending injury
A year removed from the aggressive trade-up to land him in the 2021 NFL Draft, 2022 was supposed to be the year in which quarterback Trey Lance flashed his merits and skill set to the point of giving Shanahan an offense the likes of which hadn’t been seen in the Bay Area for years.
Forget the awkwardness that surrounded Lance’s predecessor, Jimmy Garoppolo. 2022 was going to be the Lance show.
Until it wasn’t.
That broken ankle suffered in Week 2 against the Seahawks put a stop to any hope of Lance being a household name, and it’ll only delay his impact for the 49ers another year.
Good thing the Niners held onto Jimmy G, right, except he was lost to an injury late in the season, too, opening up the door for a third-string rookie, Brock Purdy.
San Francisco has all kinds of quarterbacking questions to answer this season, and it’s a shame Lance has somewhat been pushed to the periphery of many of those discussions.
His future is as unclear as ever, and that’s a disappointment.