As the 2018 season enters the home stretch, many of you have already cast your thoughts forward to the 2019 season. And some of you have evidently dozed off and lost all interest. But the Outsider is duty bound to stay the course and continue to chronicle the nuances of yet another disappointing season.
Actually, “nuances” might be a bit of a lipstick on a pig effort. After Sunday’s strange day, featuring a Raiders’ win in Arizona, the 49ers find themselves in a three way tie for the first pick in the 2019 Draft and dead last in the entire NFL this year.
When we watch the team play, they look reasonably competitive, even entertaining. They just don’t ever win. Maybe that’s because they are a young team that hasn’t learned how to win. Or their young HC hasn’t learned how to win. Or they just aren’t very good and it eventually shows up on the scoreboard.
Which leads us to the warm seat occupied by newbie GM John Lynch. His first two drafts, both located in the top ten area, have produced only three players who are sure fire keepers — TE George Kittle (fifth round), RT Mike McGlinchey (first round), and LB Fred Warner (third round). WR Trent Taylor and ILB Reuben Foster both looked like keepers last year, but have been mostly invisible this year. The other fourteen draftees are all guys that could be replaced in a heartbeat by someone better or simply replaced period.
So the last six games still possess plenty of drama. We’ll see HC Kyle Shanahan continue to deflect all blame toward the players and away from himself and his hand-picked DC Robert Saleh, i.e., everything is Lynch’s fault. We’ll not see much of Lynch or (thankfully) the Niner CEO Jed York. We might see the first hint of a schism develop between the GM and HC. And we might see, just as mildly interested bystanders, the AFC Title game Jaguars sneak up from the rear and become this year’s number one draft pick. And adios Blake Bortles.