Over the past few seasons, the San Francisco 49ers have developed a passionate, fiery rivalry with the Seattle Seahawks. This rivalry formed because of some outspoken players, both teams’ physical playing styles, and both teams’ recent success. Over the past few seasons, these two teams were often the top teams in the NFC West, the NFC, and some might have considered them the two best teams in the NFL at one point.
Fast forward to the 2015 NFL season, and the 49ers and Seahawks currently have the same record heading into their Week Seven matchup. Instead of holding the top two spots in the division though, the 49ers and Seahawks are currently tied for the worst record in the NFC West with 2-4 records. The Arizona Cardinals currently lead the division with a 4-2 record, and the St. Louis Rams reside in the second spot with a 2-3 record.
Colin Kaepernick is the face of the San Francisco 49ers franchise and one of main faces of the NFL. Despite a somewhat disappointing 2014 season, Kaepernick still ranked second in NFL merchandise sales, behind just Super Bowl champion Tom Brady. Kaepernick is an intriguing, appealing quarterback and has definitely been a draw for the 49ers organization.
Despite this attention surrounding Kaepernick, he enters the 2015 season having to prove himself. He has done this before, as he overcame adversity to unseat Alex Smith as the starting quarterback in the 2012 season, but this time around, he will have to prove that he has grown as a quarterback and as a leader.
In less than a year, the San Francisco 49ers have gone from being one of the elite teams in the NFL to being one of the most controversial, confusing teams in the league. Behind a new head coach, can the 49ers return to being a successful team in 2015?
Regardless of the sport, a team’s success can be predicated upon the culture surrounding the team. The word “culture” has been used often when discussing the Golden State Warriors’ recent rise in the ranks from being one of the worst teams in the NBA to the 2015 NBA champions.
The San Francisco 49ers will start training camp for this upcoming season with 12 wide receivers on their roster: Anquan Boldin, Torrey Smith, Jerome Simpson, Quinton Patton, Bruce Ellington, DeAndre Smelter, Isaac Blakeney, DeAndrew White, Dres Anderson, DiAndre Campbell, Chuck Jacobs, and Mario Hull.
Boldin and Smith will be the two starting receivers, but after that, playing time is up in the air. It still remains unclear who the 49ers’ third receiver will be. The most likely candidates are Simpson, Ellington, and Patton, since the other players are long shots to make the roster (such as White, Anderson, and Jacobs) or have little to no chance at making the roster and could just be added to the 49ers’ practice squad (Blakeney, Campbell, and Hull)
Leading up to the 2015 NFL Draft, many draft analysts had the San Francisco 49ers picking defensive tackle Arik Armstead out of Oregon in the first round of their mock drafts. The 49ers have made unexpected first round draft picks in the past, but in this case, the 49ers selected the player that they were linked to in many mock drafts after trading down from the 15th overall pick to the 17th pick to select Armstead.
The San Francisco 49ers went from being a Super Bowl contender to being one of the most turbulent franchises in the NFL in the span of about one season. The team struggled on the field, there was controversy off the field, coaches were fired, players retired or chose to not re-sign with the team, and the tumult continued.
The San Francisco 49ers finished the 2014 season with an 8-8 record, but towards the end of the season and during the offseason, the 8-8 record felt much worse than it actually was.
The 49ers have experienced quite the downfall in such a short amount of time, as they’ve lost several key players to retirement and free agency, they’ve done a complete rehaul of their coaching staff, and because of all of this, the impression of the organization has gone down significantly.