The San Francisco 49ers have been one of the top teams in the NFL for the past three years. It seems as though Jim Harbaugh turned the ship around once he was hired going to three straight NFC Championship games and one Super Bowl. The Defense has been one of the best, and the offense has been able to put up some points. Even with this great turnaround, It seems as though the 49ers aren’t meant to make the playoffs this season and here are four reasons why:
Missing to many starters
The 49ers have been hit with too many injuries. Navarro Bowman suffered a massive knee injury in the NFC Championship game against the Seattle Seahawks and will be out until about midseason. Kendall Hunter tore his ACL. LaMichael James, Brandon Lloyd, and Michael Crabtree are all dealing with leg injuries that could linger all season if they don’t rehab correctly. And just this past weekend run stuffer Glenn Dorsey tore his bicep tendon and is out for the season. Also, Aldon Smith will be facing league discipline soon for his numerous off field incidents he has had this offseason and could be suspended for a large chunk of the season. Missing key players like this will test a teams depth, and will also show if they can gel with so many new starters in the lineup.
The NFC West is the toughest division in football
There haven’t been too many divisions ever in the NFL that were better than the NFC West right now. Every defense is tough and violent. The offenses are bruising and steadily move the ball. These teams they play twice a year will take a physical toll on their already injury ridden roster. The Seahawks are the Super Bowl champions, and the Arizona Cardinals and St. Louis Rams are looking really good this year after a strong 2013 season.
There is division in the organization
This offseason there were reports that the 49ers were trying to trade Jim Harbaugh. Harbaugh came out and said that was completely false, but where there’s smoke, there’s fire. It seems as though the 49ers organization isn’t happy Harbaugh can’t win the big game, and that Harbaugh isn’t sold on staying in San Francisco. He had ties to wanting to go to the Cleveland Browns, and the Texas Longhorns. Now they say they are on the same page, but contract talks are on hold until the end of the upcoming season. Maybe so they can both see what year four will bring. Either way, there is tension here.
Lack of offense
Frank Gore will be 31 this season. Can he really carry the load for 16+ games? Colin Kaepernick isn’t as good as fans think, and only Anquan Boldin is a proven receiver. Michael Crabtree hasn’t had more than one 1,000 yard receiving season since he was drafted in 2009. Numbers don’t lie no matter how good you think he can be. If Kaepernick gets hurt then guess who backs him up… Blaine Gabbert. That’s right, the worst QB drafted in the first round since Jamarcus Russell. Things just aren’t looking to good for the 49ers this upcoming season.