49ers season in shambles

The San Francisco 49ers’ season is over after only three weeks. Having been blown out the past two games, it’s hard to believe that the Colin Kaepernick quarterbacking the 49ers right now is the same guy who came up five yards short from hoisting the Lombardi trophy a mere three years ago.

Expectations were low for the 49ers coming into this season after losing all-pros such as Patrick Willis, Aldon Smith and Justin Smith, along with pro bowlers Frank Gore and Mike Iupati.

As a fan, you’d think that the organization knows what they’re doing and though your team did lose a lot of great players, you’re still going to have a competitive team. However, that wasn’t the case with the 49ers due to General Manager Trent Baalke’s refusal to conform to conventional wisdom. Because of Baalke’s stubbornness, it’ll take nothing short of a miracle for this team to reach six wins.

Had Baalke made a handful of different decisions throughout the offseason, the 49ers would be in much better shape than they are right now. I know hindsight is 20/20, but these decisions would have made the team, at the very least, an easier watch.

The 49ers also lost both their starting cornerbacks, Chris Culliver and Perrish Cox, to free agency after not even attempting to re-sign either of them. Those two alone, accounted for nine of the team’s league-leading 23 interceptions.

Baalke, instead of reaching out and signing a solid veteran — they did sign Shareece Wright, note I said “solid veteran” — in free agency or drafting a corner, decided to roll two second-year players coming off of injuries, Kenneth Acker and Keith Reaser. Both have yet to make a difference on defense.

Kanas City’s rookie cornerback Marcus Peters was one player many draft experts had the 49ers picking in the first round of this past draft. Despite it being a major need, the 49ers didn’t draft a single cornerback in any of the rounds, opting to use their first rounder on Oregon defensive linemen Arik Armstead. While Armstead hasn’t been awful in his first three games, he hasn’t made as much of a difference as Peters has, having racked up two picks and a touchdown in his first three games.

The offensive line for the 49ers has been atrocious to start the season. They don’t open up lanes for running backs and they make up for that by not giving Kaepernick any time to go through his progressions in the pocket. In the offseason, left guard Mike Iupati, jumped ship to Arizona Cardinals, the division rivals and right tackle Anthony Davis shocked everyone and retired at age 25. With center Daniel Kilgore still nursing an ankle injury he obtained last October, It’s no wonder they’re playing this poorly.

Baalke did sign right tackle Erik Pears who has had an ok start to the season, however the same cannot be said for backup center Marcus Martin and right guard Jordan Devey. There was an opportunity this offseason to strengthen the offensive line and again Baalke refused to make the logical decision.

When former all pro left guard Evan Mathis was cut by the Philadelphia Eagles, you’d think the 49ers, who’s offensive line is in shambles, would do everything in their power to sign him. Of course, that being the logical thing to do, they passed opting to stick with the players they already have.

Had Baalke done the sensible thing and signed Mathis, right guard Alex Boone would be able to play his natural position, left guard, and the offensive line as a whole would be sounder.

Despite the gaping holes on the roster and even with all the players the 49ers lost this offseason, they still have a talented core group of players. Baalke chose to ignore the hole completely and hope for the best. It’s that type of mishandling of the team that is going to cause the team to be picking in the top 10 in the next five drafts.